Jaco van der Westhuyzen will play in the Vodacom Super 14 as soon as he gets a medical clearance, Springbok coach Jake White confirmed.
White, speaking to Keo.co.za, said that the Japanese-based Bok flyhalf would definitely play the second half of the competition.
“It is very exciting news that he will be available,” said White. “We have to make sure that he is placed in a squad where he will get regular game time that is beneficial to the national cause.”
White said no decision had been made on where Van der Westhuyzen would play, but that it seemed logical to push for his inclusion in the Stormers squad.
“Bolla plays nine and Jean de Villiers plays 12. It would make sense to see Jaco play in that set-up, where he is getting game time with his national teammates. It would help me tremendously if he was playing inside of Jean for a consistent period leading into the national season,” said White, who is hoping to finalise the Van der Westhuyzen situation in the next week.
White, in the past month, has been active in his 2007 World Cup planning. He has conducted workshops with those involved in previous campaigns, regardless of the success of the campaign.
“It is important to get perspective from both sides. We can’t always tap into what worked for a previous squad. We also have to explore why certain things did not work. It was a healthy discussion, but it was only a starting point.
“The World Cup, in many respects, is not won at the World Cup. Successful teams will always take you back 18 months to the planning stages as the basis of their success. I think this is where we have failed ourselves as a nation in previous campaigns. The build-up to the last two World Cups has been dominated by off-the-field issues and disruption. Hopefully, we can get it right in the next 18 months and every decision made in South African rugby is to the benefit of this campaign.
“We need the entire country’s rugby stakeholders pulling for the national cause. The World Cup cannot be won on the basis of input from the national squad and the coaches. It goes beyond that,” said White, who added that he was comfortable the Boks could select 30 players of the highest quality.
“We have depth in our game and a lot of it is playing overseas. The key is to keep them here, but to do that you need a good succession plan in Super 14 and Currie Cup rugby.”