Sharks coach Jake White leaving after 1 season
DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Jake White quit on Monday after one season as coach of the Sharks Super Rugby team to pursue work with an international squad at next year’s World Cup.
The Durban-based Sharks said South Africa’s 2007 World Cup-winning coach also wanted to spend more time with his family at home in Cape Town.
“I’m closing this chapter in my life as I believe it is the right time to do so,” White said in a statement from the Sharks.
White joined the Sharks at the end of 2013 after requesting an early release from his coaching contract with Australia’s ACT Brumbies, which he led to the 2013 Super Rugby final.
He took the Sharks to the semifinals this year but his desire to get back into international coaching was clear. He left the Brumbies soon after missing out on the Australia head coach job.
Neither the Sharks nor White said if there had been any offers from national teams for him to work at the World Cup in England and Wales next September and October.
However, Sharks chief executive John Smit — White’s captain for the Springboks’ World Cup triumph in 2007 — said White had made clear he wanted to return to the international arena when he was employed a year ago.
“Jake and I have known each other a long time and were very frank in our discussions regarding this Sharks opportunity back in 2013,” Smit said. “Jake was excited to implement change as well as be involved with South Africa’s most talented squad, but from the outset stated his ambition to be on the international stage again and I was all too happy to have him for however long we could.”
The Sharks said they would consider bringing back White in a consultancy role in the future.