Thu, Nov 01, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Cup-winning 'Bok coach rules out tenure extension


Twelve days after leading South Africa to a World Cup title triumph, coach Jake White announced yesterday that he is quitting his post.

White told reporters in Cape Town that the match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Dec. 1 will be his last in charge of the Springbok team.

South Africa defeated England 15-6 in the final in France on Oct. 20 for their second World Cup triumph, having also won on home turf in 1995.

White's announcement was expected after it had emerged he was not being considered for the post once his contract expired on Dec. 31.

The South African Rugby Union said on Monday that White had not reapplied for his job and was therefore not on the shortlist of four candidates for the post. This was despite reports of a clause in his contract that said it would be reviewed after it expired.

Local radio reported that White had expressed disappointment at the manner in which the South African Rugby Union had handled the ending of his contract.

White did not reveal his plans but said he was interested in an overseas coaching post. He could reportedly be a candidate to fill vacancies with Australia and Wales and even England, if they decide not to keep Brian Ashton.

The media has named former South Africa winger Chester Williams, assistant Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, the national under-21 team's Pieter de Villiers and Bulls' Heyneke Meyer as possible replacements for White.

Rugby, a sport once synonymous with apartheid, is highly politicized in South Africa. The government is keen to see more black players and administrators.

White faced pre-World Cup threats that the government would force quotas on him if he didn't use more black players.

Speaking after the final, White said he could walk away from the job satisfied with his achievements.

"Everything I said I wanted to achieve, I've achieved," he said. "I want to be the first coach that finishes my job on my terms, and that's why I'm so proud it has been able to happen. Coaches don't last too long in South Africa."

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