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Jake White goes back to school



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World Cup-winning coach and former schoolmaster Jake White, in launching his satellite-coaching academy on Wednesday, said recognition of the value of the schools coach was long overdue in South African rugby.

White, in association with Discovery Vitality and Highbury Safika Media, has assembled the core of his 2007 Springbok World Cup management team, in bringing South African schools and club coaches the finest possible tuition in June.

“I was a schoolmaster and I coached against some brilliant schools coaches who, if given the right exposure and opportunities, could well have a professional career in coaching.

This course is the first step to giving them an opportunity to learn but to also show off their talent, but more than that it will add a further dimension to schools rugby overall and entrench South Africa as the best schoolboy rugby nation. We have fantastic schools players, but we also have very talented schools coaches”, said White.

The academy won’t be limited to schools coaches, and White has also expressed the hope that club coaches and even those linked to professional teams see the value of tutorship from those who made South Africa’s win at the 2007 World Cup possible.

“You only have to go to the schools rugby festivals that are on this week to appreciate how healthy the schoolboy game is, but speaking from my own experience as a rugby schoolmaster, the opportunities to improve oneself as a coach haven’t always been there.

“I keep on hearing we don’t have the intellectual capital in this country, but that’s crazy when you see what we have achieved at all levels of our rugby”.

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, who assisted White’s Springboks at the 2007 World Cup, has also aligned himself with the academy.

“Any opportunity to work with Eddie is a bonus and he brings special qualities to the academy. He loved working with the Springboks and he loves the passion there is for rugby in our country”, said White.


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