White’s stint with Tonga to be short

Date published: October 16 2014

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Jake White’s stint as Tonga’s technical adviser will not be beyond their northern hemisphere tour in November.

World Cup-winning coach Jake White’s stint as Tonga’s technical adviser will not be beyond their northern hemisphere tour in November.

White, who guided South Africa to the 2007 World Cup, quit as coach of the Sharks in a surprise move last month after taking the Durban-based club to the Super Rugby semi-finals.

Tonga’s high-performance director Peter Harding said its rugby union decided to “have a lash” and ask White to join the tour – which includes matches against Georgia, Scotland and the USA – after hearing the 51-year-old was available but added that it will not be beyond 2014.

“It’ll be just a month where we’ll try to suck him dry of information, talk to him about World Cup preparation and get him to assist the coaches in any way he can while he’s there,” Harding told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He dismissed speculation that White – who has often said his ultimate goal is to mentor another team at a World Cup – could take over from Tonga coach Mana Otai for next year’s tournament in England.

“It’ll just be the northern hemisphere tour at the moment,” said Harding.

“Someone of Jake’s standing and qualifications will get all sorts of offers next year.”

Harding said White had enormous respect for Tongan rugby after the islanders gave his Springboks an almighty scare in the group stages of the 2007 World Cup, with the South Africans holding on to win 30-25 before advancing to take the title.

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