White: ‘Why I signed so many SA stars’

Date published: July 21 2015

Montpellier boss Jake White has revealed why he moved to bring a high number of South African players to the Top 14 club.

White has received criticism inside and outside of France for his recruitment drive from his home country in an overhaul of Montpellier's squad.

Eleven South African players have signed for Montpellier – including Pierre Spies, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis – but White revealed that five of those players would be 'jokers' to cover the squad during the Rugby World Cup.

Montpellier have made 16 signings in total but 20 players have left the club, half of which were French-qualified.

"Some of the signings will be there for the duration of the World Cup to cover for our internationals," White told Midi Olympique.

"And in general, South African players are more available than others at this time of year. I know enough to be sure that these players will work hard.

"They want to win and to give something to the club, instead of just taking from it.

"Before Montpellier was like a station! People came here, took what they could and walked away.

"We don't have a legacy yet, so we have to give the club one. And with South African players, I know that I don't have to worry about them."