Jaco at crossroads

Jaco van der Westhuyzen is unlikely to return to the Bok Test team as long as he’s playing in Japan.

The flyhalf was dropped after the 49-0 bashing in Brisbane and replaced by Butch James for the Wellington Test. Since then, Andre Pretorius has regained the No 10 jersey, with James as back-up.

Speaking to Beeld newspaper, Jake White said Van der Westhuyzen would have to return to South Africa if he wanted to fight for a place in the World Cup squad.

“To tell you the truth I don’t think the level of rugby in Japan is good enough,” said the Bok coach. “I’ve suggested to Jaco that he plays at a level comparable to what we have in South Africa.

“Remember when we chose him to play for the Boks in 2004, he was really at the top of his game for Leicester. They even tried to get him back from Japan.”

White insisted that the Green Rockets star remained part of his plans.

“Jaco is definitely not out of the picture. He can play flyhalf, fullback or even wing and has a lot of experience,” said White, before adding that he’d have to play in next year’s Vodacom Super 14.

“I know he’s been talking to SA Rugby in an attempt to play in South Africa again. However, I’m unsure what the situation is with regard to his contract in Japan.”