Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 18 News List

White buoyed by 'Bok win against England

AFP , LONDON

South Africa's CJ van der Linde, right, breaks past England's Jamie Noon during their rugby union international match at Twickenham stadium in London on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

Jake White will return to Cape Town to face his detractors buoyed by the Springboks' 25-14 win against England, their first in eight meetings with the world champions.

Victory was also South Africa's first away success this year and first at Twickenham since 1997 and came just days before White's meeting with the South African Rugby Union's (SARU) influential presidents' council on Wednesday.

Last week it was announced that White would be making a 48-hour round trip to meet with the council, made up of the heads of South Africa's 14 provincial unions, before returning for the tour finale against a World XV at Leicester, central England, next Sunday.

"I was going to go into that meeting with confidence anyway regardless of what happened out here today," explained a typically bullish White after Saturday's win.

"It's probably better for me to be there than here when they are discussing these things," said White who, having spoken to SARU president Regan Hoskins on tour, insisted he didn't think he would be a victim of "skullduggery."

He added: "I know in my heart of hearts that everything I've done has been done for the good of South African rugby ahead of the World Cup next year."

White has come under intense pressure this trip after the Boks lost 32-15 to Ireland and then surrendered a 12-point advantage in a 23-21 Twickenham defeat by England last weekend.

That England defeat came just days after the Blue Bulls Rugby Union called for White's immediate resignation, even though the presidents' council had approved in advance the coach's plan to use the November Test series to blood young players.

On Saturday, those same young players held their nerve in front of 80,000 spectators to overcome a 14-3 deficit 10 minutes before halftime and turn round two points ahead.

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