White bemoans poor Bok preparation

Date published: September 22 2015

Former Springboks coach Jake White feels a lack of preparation contributed significantly to South Africa's Rugby World Cup loss against Japan last Saturday.

In what has been dubbed the upset of the tournament, the Springboks slumped to a 32-34 defeat against Japan in their tournament opener – a result that White said could not be justified.

White said management needed to take responsibility for the result, adding that more homework needed to have been done on their opponents.

"Apparently nobody knew what to expect against Japan, nobody knew the Japanese players," he told sports publication L'Equipe on Tuesday.

The 2007 World Cup-winning coach said this was more disconcerting, given that several South African players have plied their trade in Japan at some stage in the recent past.

Among those is Suntory Sungoliath scrum-half Fourie du Preez, who has at times been vocal about the quality of the rugby being played in Japan.

"Yet we have guys like Fourie Du Preez who play in Japan. Have we asked them information? I don't think so," added White.

"The Japanese were perfectly organised, they had a plan. The Springboks, instead, thought that simply turning up on the field would be enough.

"I don't want to lack respect towards Eddie Jones or the Japanese team but this defeat should never have happened. Rugby is our national sport, our players have known each other for a long time.

We'd known for three years we'd be facing Japan."

White believes that the fixture against Japan was one the Springboks should have won, adding that the status quo was particularly disconcerting ahead of the team's fixture against Samoa on Saturday.

"We have become an ordinary team," said White, suggesting that Samoa and Scotland would have gained considerable belief after all that transpired at the Community Stadium last weekend.

"Nobody fears us anymore. (Pool B rivals) Scotland have started to fancy their chances and it worries me."