World Cup winner White throws his hat into RFU ring


Jake White, the South African coach who guided the Springboks to a world title four years ago, threw his hat into the England ring yesterday

He thereby joins the likes of his countryman Nick Mallett, the Australian strategist Eddie Jones and Jim Mallinder of Northampton as a contender to replace Martin Johnson as red-rose coach. But like everyone else, White has no clear idea of what the ring looks like, or even if there will be a ring at all in a few weeks' time.

The continuing hangover from the World Cup campaign, intensified to migraine levels by last week's leaking of three reports into events in New Zealand, grew worse still yesterday when it was revealed that the discredited former chairman Martyn Thomas could be in line for a six-figure bonus despite the fact that he will leave the RFU in the middle of next month after fierce criticism from fellow management board and council members. If this proves to be the case, the governing body will be accused of rewarding failure and find itself even more of a laughing stock than it is already.

Then there is this Friday's council meeting at Twickenham, where members will begin discussions of a "turkeys and Christmas" nature following the tabling of a report into rugby governance by the legal firm, Slaughter and May, which proposes a dramatic cut in the size of the council – down to 25 from the best part of 60 – and an enhanced role for independent non-executive directors. This debate will not be concluded until the summer, which means seven more months of administrative uncertainty.

White, whose name will be one of those under consideration when the union's board of directors meet to discuss the way forward on Wednesday, said yesterday that while he was contracted to the Brumbies, the Australian Super 15 franchise, and was enjoying life in Canberra, he missed coaching at international level. "During the World Cup there were times when I thought it would be wonderful to be back on that stage and I'm sure if the opportunity came about, I'd like to do it again," he said.

"I don't know how I'd react if I was called by the RFU: you never know until you are in that situation. But all coaches want to test themselves against the best and when you've won one World Cup, you'd like to win a second. I see England as a sleeping giant. They have to get themselves a winner, someone the players respect because he's been there and done it. Whoever does the job could have a very successful time with a very powerful rugby nation."

Meanwhile, James Haskell, the England flanker currently playing club rugby in Japan, is taking legal action against the Dunedin hotel chambermaid at the centre of harassment allegations that undermined the World Cup effort and led to Haskell and the wing Chris Ashton receiving suspended fines of £5,000 from the RFU. One of the leaked reports, compiled by the players' union, claims the England management pressured the players into paying the chambermaid almost £15,000 in compensation – a course of action rejected by the accused, who insisted they had done nothing wrong.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific