The Brumbies have confirmed that head coach Jake White has been released from his contract, with the Sharks eager to open talks.
The Brumbies have confirmed that head coach Jake White has been released from his contract, whilst the Sharks are eager to open talks.
White requested the release on Friday from South Africa and has since been in touch with the Brumbies Chief Executive, Andrew Fagan, and senior players.
The former World Cup-winning coach has been linked with positions with the Stormers and Sharks since the news broke of his departure on Wednesday.
Fagan was disappointed to hear White would not be returning to Canberra to honour the final two years of his contract.
“I'd have to say that I was shocked when Jake called to tell me that he was intending to stay in South Africa,” said Fagan.
“We are well into our planning for next season and have lots of great things happening on and off the field as we build on the momentum of making this year's final.
“To have Jake decide that he wants to pursue his international coaching ambitions from South Africa at this late stage is disappointing. He has achieved a great deal for the Brumbies' and we felt he certainly had more to offer.”
“But I understand his reasons for seeking the release. He was obviously very disappointed in missing out on the Wallabies' job and he sees his best opportunity to further his international coaching career is from South Africa.
“He also has two sons who live in South Africa who he misses a great deal so when I sit back and look at it I can understand why he has made his decision.”
Assistant coaches Laurie Fisher and Stephen Larkham will take control of the team in the short term while permanent options are investigated.
“Look it's far from ideal that Jake is leaving right now but in saying that we have two outstanding assistant coaches in Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher who have delivered the majority of the on-field coaching and they will continue to implement our high performance program. We will make a decision on a head coach in due course.
“On behalf of our fans, the players and staff at the Brumbies, I'd like to wish Jake and his wife Lindy all the very best in the future. Jake has achieved great things for the Brumbies' and his record is one that I'm sure he will always look back on with pride.”
Meanwhile, in a response to the speculation linking White with a move to the Sharks, CEO John Smit released a statement on Thursday.
“Here at the Sharks we have a definite plan for our team. Could Jake White add value? Of course he can,” said Smit.
“He is a very successful coach with an amazing track record. We would welcome an opportunity to engage with him, should it so arise.”