World Cup-winning coach Jake White
Jake White (born 13 December 1963 in Johannesburg as Jacob Westerduin) is a rugby union coach and former coach of the South Africa national rugby union team, the Springboks. His most notable achievements as coach include leading the Springboks to victory in 2007 Rugby World Cup and the 2004 Tri Nations title. White also coached the the u-21 Springbok side to victory in the U-21 Rugby Union World Cup in 2002.
“It is mission completed and I’m very thankful for that,” Jake White.
Jake White attended Jeppe High School where he played in the in the First XV. He began his coaching career as a high school rugby coach at Parktown Boys’ High First XV before returning to his old school as a teacher and as coach of the school’s First XV. White’s success with the school team resulted in him being appointed as provincial schools coach. Later he coached various under-19 and under-21 sides before assisting Springbok squad preparations by doing video analysis for them. By this time he was well known for his technical prowess in rugby circles, and he lived up to his reputation by coaching the under-21 Springbok side to a victory in the U-21 Rugby Union World Cup in 2002.
The 2007 season started promisingly for White, having the scope to draw from a great deal of talent in the wake of a wonderful 2007 Super 14 season for South Africa which culminated in an all-South African final between the Sharks and the Bulls. White chose to draw heavily on these two teams for players to capitalize on their Super 14 success. When the Springboks played a depleted England on 26 May in Bloemfontein, the result was a resounding 58-10 win for the South Africans. The second test on 2 June at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria was a more dogged affair in the first half, with the visitors leading 19-17 at the break. However, a renewed sense of urgency prompted the Boks to regroup and blow away the England side, eventually running out 55-22 winners. South African captain John Smit said after the game that “there is a lot of work to be done. But this year we have got a chance” to challenge for the World Cup .
White made 13 changes to the South African side to face Samoa at Ellis Park on 9 June. The Springboks battled out a 35-8 win over the visitors.
After the Boks’ 15-6 victory against England in the World Cup final, they claimed the No 1 ranking for the first time since rankings were officially introduced in 2003, thus ending the All Blacks’ 40-month stint at the top.
“I’m very relieved I can go off on a high and I have been privileged that I’ve been with a great group of players.