Jake to jump before he’s pushed

Springbok coach Jake White will quit after the 2007 World Cup.

In an interview with Independent rugby writer Peter Bills, White said he had abandoned efforts to stay in charge until the Lions tour of 2009.

The coach earlier this year demanded an extention to his contract and threatened to quit if his wish wasn’t granted.

However, after five consecutive defeats this season, Saru was ready to fire him. Only the costs involved with such a move (up to R15 million in various pay-outs) forced them to reconsider.

White is almost certain to be fired after the World Cup, but says he will resign anyway.

“I don’t feel I could do this job for another four years,” he said. “The pressures from it are immense, and it’s only when you have some time to reflect that you realise the price you pay in other areas for doing the job.”

White said he had a fear of losing his job this year, and blamed the schedule for the Boks’ poor performance.

“Look at the fixture list and the craziness of the draw,” he said. “We had one game in five weeks and then we played three tests on successive Saturdays, two against New Zealand. How mad is that?

“The Tri-Nations competition was almost over before we got home. The trouble is, two doesn’t go into three. Someone is always going to lose out.”

White also warned that the country could face a mass exodus of players after the World Cup.

“A lot of our players are talking to overseas clubs in one way or another. The coach of one English Premiership club was in South Africa recently talking to John Smit.

“Others who are being targeted include players like Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers. We could lose the whole core of our team.”