Jake in Sharks’ sights

Is Jake White headed to the Sharks? Or will it be French powerhouse Clermont? Sharks CEO John Smit says White would add value to the franchise.

The Brumbies have granted White a release from the final two years of his contract, just two months after he took the franchise to the Super Rugby final.

White, 50, had two years remaining on his Brumbies contract.

Smit, in a statement, said: ‘Here at the Sharks we have a definite plan for our team. Could Jake White add value? Of course he can.

‘He is a very successful coach with an amazing track record. We would welcome an opportunity to engage with him, should it so arise.’

White, who last month was named Australia’s Super Rugby coach of the Year, is currently in South Africa and is expected back in Canberra in October.

Jake’s winning CV

The former Bok coach produced a near miracle with the Brumbies in getting them so close to winning Super Rugby’s grand prize this season. He was courted by the Australian Rugby Union to take over as Wallabies coach and in effect promised the job.

The Australians then did an about turn and appointed former Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, saying he was Australian and he would play ‘the Australian way’.

White is known to have been annoyed and disappointed at the ARU’s dishonesty in their approach to him.

He was also bemused that his style of coaching, which had transformed the Brumbies, was said to be a negative at a national level.

White told the Brumbies executive the time was right for him to move aside and that his heart was no longer in the Brumbies job.

Brendan Venter, currently acts as a mentor and consultant to newly appointed Sharks head coach Brad MacLeod-Henderson, and White could be appointed Director of Rugby for the Sharks.

The other possibility being spoken about is White succeeding New Zealander Vern Cotter at Clermont. Cotter is in his final season with the club after a 10 year spell and will take charge of Scotland’s national side in 2014.

White is close to Stormers head coach and director of Rugby Allister Coetzee, who last year had his contract extended for three years.

There were whispers White could be linked to the Stormers after attending Western Province training but the finance is unlikely to be available in Cape Town to accommodate both White and Coetzee.