Markies looms large

Jake White must fight off the threat of Andre Markgraaff to keep his job as Bok coach. has learned that Markgraaff, supported by the majority of the provincial presidents, is ready to step in as caretaker coach if the President’s Council on Wednesday wants to sack White.

Several influential business figures in South Africa are doing their utmost behind the scenes to keep Markgraaff away from the national team, believing it would be outrageous to entrust him with the Springboks.

They argue he is bad for the game and that he has done nothing to warrant being considered for the national coaching job. The last time he coached was as Harry Viljoen’s assistant in 2001. He walked out after just six months in the job.

There is a concerted move by these business people to either keep White and surround him with stronger personalities or to persuade Nick Mallett to do an ambulance job and take the Boks through to the World Cup.

Mallett, when speaking to us, said he would not rule out anything. He added that he had received no official or unofficial approaches.

Heyneke Meyer, whom the President’s Council originally wanted to replace White, is understood to be reluctant to step in at this late stage, especially when there are no definitive structures in place.