Eddie’s the best, says Jake
24 Jul 2007
Jake White described Eddie Jones’s technical knowledge as the best in the game and said his input would add value to the Boks.
Jones put on a Bok tracksuit on Monday after White enticed him to spend a week with the Boks en-route to Saracens, where he will be Director of Rugby.
â€œI have always found Eddieâ€™s analysis of us to be the most difficult to counter and I have huge respect for his technical knowledge. As Bok coach Eddieâ€™s Wallabies were the toughest of all our opposition and that was down to his strategic approach and fantastic knowledge of the game,â€ said White. â€œI believe he can give us a very different insight because there is no emotional attachment and heâ€™ll pretty much call it as he sees it.â€
White said he was confident in the advances the Boks had made in the last four years, but he was equally wary of the squad believing their own hype and being caught out at the World Cup.
â€œWe have formed a close unit over the last four years and the players are very confident in their own ability. As coaches we are very close to the squad, so it just may be that you donâ€™t see something you should or you donâ€™t want to see it. Getting a guy with Eddieâ€™s expertise to have a look will jolt any complacency if weâ€™ve allowed this to creep in.â€
Jones arrived in Cape Town on Sunday night and will leave for England at the weekend to take up the Director of Rugby post at Saracens.
White also dismissed the possibility of Jones trying to derail the Boks campaign because of loyalty to the Wallabies.
â€œHeâ€™ll give us a perspective, just like David Campese did for the Sharks, as New Zealanders Graham Henry and Steve Hansen did when coaching Wales, as Australian Scott Johnstone did when coaching Wales. It is a professional game and if someone of Eddieâ€™s ability is available as a short-term consultant then I am going to make use of him,â€ said White.
Jones is the most high profile consultant White will use in the countdown to the World Cup opener against Samoa and the Bok coach said Jones may not necessarily be the only one.
â€œIn my four years with the Boks Iâ€™ve consulted with a variety of people in South Africa and abroad, but it is not something that is always going to be public knowledge. If I feel the need to bring someone in for a day or a week, as is the case with Eddie, then I will do it. If there is benefit to our World Cup hopes then Iâ€™ll explore it,â€ said White. â€œI know weâ€™ll get benefit from Eddieâ€™s week with us. Heâ€™s a smart man whoâ€™ll give us something to think about.â€