White opts out of Springboks running
Staff
October 29, 2007

The South African Rugby Union have confirmed that World Cup-winning coach Jake White did not re-apply for his position at coach of the Springboks and as a result will not be considered for the role.

A statement released this afternoon by SA Rugby read, "The panel to appoint the national coach met today in Johannesburg to further discuss the process and to finalise the shortlist for the position of Springbok coach.

"SARU has confirmed that Jake White did not apply for the position and he was therefore not considered. SA Rugby recently met with White to discuss the matter, and can confirm that White advised SA Rugby that he does not want to make a decision on his coaching future at this point in time.

"The panel has therefore compiled a shortlist of four candidates and their names will not be released until they have been informed."

Applications have reportedly been received from South African under-21 coach Pieter de Villiers, assistant Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, former Springbok wing Chester Williams and Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer who is considered the favourite to take over the reins.

Meyer, who oversaw the Bulls' victory in this year's Super 14, is contracted with them until October next year although he reportedly has a an exit cluase in his contract.

White's contract with the SARU officially ends on December 31 and he is expected to draw a line under his tenureship by taking charge of the Springbok's tour to Europe that will see them take on Wales in Cardiff (November 24) and then the Barbarians at Twickenham (December 1).

He took charge of the national side in 2003 after the disastrous reigns of Harry Viljoen and Rudolf Straeuli and led them to the 2004 Tri Nations title.

The selection panel is headed by Mike Stofile, the deputy president of the SA Rugby Union, and their decision on who should succeed White will be put to SARU's presidents' council who must verify their choice.

The news will come as a blow to the thousands of supporters who welcomed White and his victorious squad back following their triumph over England in Paris last month.

White's decision not be forced into a call on his coaching future also opens the door for a move to Europe where he has been linked with both the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union and perhaps even Australia where his name has been mentioned amongst those who may replace John Connolly.

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