Jake in talks with expats

Jake White yesterday confirmed that he will hold talks with Bob Skinstad, Cobus Visagie and Jake Boer in London.

The 34-cap Skinstad remains the darling of South African rugby fans and the former star Springbok loose forward currently plays for Richmond in the London 1 division in England.

Visagie has played for Saracens to rave reviews from the English media and earlier stated his desire to revive an international career which has seen him play 29 times for the Boks to date.

Boer is uncapped, but the Gloucester flanker has years of experience and has for a long time been spoken about as an option for the Boks on the side of the scrum.

White however refused to elaborate on the details of the discussions. “I’m not making any promises. I’m only going to talk to them,” he told Die Volksbald.

Speculation is that White is looking to tap into the players’ knowledge of northern hemisphere conditions ahead of the World Cup in France and not to discuss their potential involvement in the national set up, although that option can’t be discounted.

Of the trio, many pundits suggest that only Skinstad has realistic hopes of playing for the Springboks. At 30 he is considerably older than the current crop of loose forwards but could still inject a dimension of flair to a back row that has been devoid of a playmaker in recent seasons.

White’s preference for big, ball-carrying loose-forwards will most likely douse any hopes the 28-year-old Boer has of representing South Africa. Even at 1.88m and 108kg, the Cape Town-born opensider will be considered too small.

Visagie returned to South Africa earlier this year to play for the World XV but White flat out said that the 33-year-old didn’t feature in his plans, despite the English rugby fraternity hailing him as the strongest scrummager in the Premiership.