White lies or Bok chaos?

Jake White has told Argus rugby writer Dale Granger he knows he will be fired as Springbok coach. But the team’s communications messengers insist this is not the case.

Granger, touring with the Springboks, wrote from Brisbane that the first few days on tour were akin to the latter part of Rudolf Straeuli’s tenure. He wrote of media bans, of no interaction between the media and the players and of a seige mentality.

Granger quotes White as saying: “I know I will be fired … but when I do go, I will make sure it is on my terms.”

The article, headlined: “Revealed: How SA Rugby has muzzled Jake for his honesty” talks about banning orders on the coach from the president’s council. White and his players would no longer give interviews outside of the structured media conferences. The team was to avoid all one-on-one interviews and the South African media would be banned from all training sessions. White has agreed to allow the media to training sessions.

It is all very familiar to those who were with the Boks in Brisbane in 2003 when it all turned to pot and the paranoia took over.

Bok communications manager Vusi Kama denied the accuracy of Granger’s story when contacted by Keo.co.za.

“It is shocking when you consider the author of the article has just spoken to two players freely and has been mingling freely with everybody,” said Kama.

Fellow management members have also dismissed the story as fabrication, but White was not available to confirm the accuracy of his quote about being fired.

Kama told Keo.co.za that he would only be speaking to White in the morning (Australian time) with regards to the accuracy of the Granger quote.

It is no secret, though, that White is furious that the request to have Naas Botha on board as team manager and player mentor was refused; not to mention a refusal by the President’s Council to extend his contract to 2009.