Saturday 17 February 2018

Ireland job came at the wrong time – White

Brumbies head coach Jake White
Brumbies head coach Jake White
Conor George

Conor George

JAKE WHITE turned down an offer to interview for the Ireland job because he felt "the time was wrong" for him to switch to the northern hemisphere.

The South African native and current Brumbies coach, who led his country to World Cup glory in 2007, was approached by the IRFU and asked to interview for the position following the decision not to extend Declan Kidney's contract.

White declined the opportunity but is interested in returning to coaching at international level.

"I want to coach at the highest level again and I have ambitions to win another World Cup. That's my aim and I am young enough and driven enough. When I feel the time is right and the right opportunity presents itself I will go back to that scene," he said.

White insists that his decision not to interview for the Irish position – he was one of only four candidates ever considered by the IRFU – was a matter of timing and that he is open to coaching in the northern hemisphere.

"When the Ireland job was talked about I felt it wasn't the right time for me to be looking at returning to international rugby just then.

"I didn't want to waste anyone's time by interviewing while not being convinced that the opportunity was right for me.

"The timing wasn't right. It's that's simple, and anyway Joe Schmidt is an excellent coach and will do very well with Ireland."

White hasn't ruled out moving to Europe to coach in the future and cites his position with the Brumbies as evidence of his willingness to explore and experiment.

"Had you said to me after I won the World Cup with South Africa in 2007 that I would end up coaching an Australian side in the Super 15, I wouldn't have believed you."

White's next role, however, is more likely to be that of Robbie Deans' successor at the Wallabies.

Irish Independent

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