White targets SA young guns

Jake White plans to use the Brumbies’ alliance with the University of Canberra to lure young South Africans to the ACT franchise.

The University of Canberra has been announced as the official naming-rights sponsor of the Brumbies for the 2012 season. The deal is for one year, but according to reports from Down Under White intends to use this relationship to improve the Brumbies’ player depth. Talented young rugby players will be handed the opportunity to study in the Australian capital as well as the prospect of graduating to the Brumbies’ senior side.

‘I would love to attract some boys to come and play rugby in Australia,’ White told The Canberra Times. ‘Every day I get calls from dads [in South Africa] asking where I suggest their kid can play. It shouldn’t be underestimated a lot of South Africans will see this link and see it as an opportunity [to come and try to play for the Brumbies].’

White wants university delegates to travel with the Brumbies when they tour South Africa in April. It is on this tour that the university may look to recruit promising schoolboys with the long-term aim of including them in the Brumbies’ Super Rugby squad.

The former Springbok coach explained that it is not his intention to dilute South Africa’s pool of young talent. White said that the aim was to give these youngsters an opportunity to play Super Rugby, and that down the line the player and possibly even the Boks could reap the benefits.

‘Nothing would hurt me more than to tell a South African dad to bring his kid here and he doesn’t leave Canberra a better player,’ White said. ‘I don’t want these boys to come here and to be a Brumbies fan, I want him to come here with an opportunity to play for the Brumbies.

‘There’s no reason why it can’t happen, I get excited because we’re sitting on something great, but we can’t just offer an opportunity to study. It’s going to promote rugby in Canberra and increase the standard of rugby we have here.

‘It won’t happen in year one, but it will be sustainable for South African and New Zealand boys to come here and study.’