White lives to see another day

Springbok coach Jake White survived a vote of no confidence in the 14-union president’s council on Wednesday.

White arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday morning from London to face the council after the Springboks suffered two losses—to Ireland and in the first Test against England—in two successive weeks.

He left his Springbok team preparing for their festival match against the World XV.

A relieved White said he was happy that the matter was behind him after a grilling from members of the council, which included South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins, vice-president Mike Stofile and deputy president Koos Basson.

“I am pleased that the matter has been resolved,” White said after the meeting.

Hoskins admitted that White was grilled by the council about the Springboks’ recent poor run of results, which included less-than-impressive wins over Scotland and a loss to France earlier in the season as well as a 49-0 drubbing at the hands of Australia in their opening Tri-Nations encounter.

“Only a minority of members voted in the motion of no confidence against Jake. He [White] was subject to a grilling by members of the council,” Hoskins said at a press conference afterwards.

However, the Springboks have been the only team this year to beat New Zealand, and ended a nine-year losing drought against England in Twickenham when they beat them 25-14 on Saturday in their second Test at the home of English rugby.

The Springbok victory may have saved White’s job but had the opposite effect on England coach Andy Robinson, who resigned on Wednesday after leading England to eight losses in nine matches.

It was also the 13th loss in 22 matches under Robinson, who took over after World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward quit in 2004.

White flies back to England on Wednesday evening to rejoin the Springboks, who are seeking a victory to come back home with a 50% win record on their four-match European tour.—Sapa


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