South African rugby union team the Blue Bulls on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Jake White as director of rugby with immediate effect until the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
White replaces Alan Zondagh who left the role earlier in the year after 14 months in charge due to personal reasons.
White is a former Springboks coach and led the team to win the Tri-Nations in 2004 and the Rugby World Cup in 2007. He had been coaching Toyota Verblitz in Japan and has previously coached Super Rugby sides the Sharks and Brumbies and French Top 14 side Montpellier Hérault Rugby.
Blue Bulls Company CEO Alfonso Meyer expressed delight at White’s appointment hailing it as a positive move by the team.
“We are extremely excited with Jake’s decision to join us. His credentials speak for itself and we know his contributions are only going to improve our rugby across the board. Jake’s appointment is yet another step in the right direction as we endeavour to take this brand into a new era. We wish him well in his new role,” Meyer said.
White said he was eager to restore glory to the Bulls brand which he said had always been a powerhouse in rugby and respected globally.
“There’s a great history and heritage here, and I’m looking forward to adding my contribution to the Bulls’ legacy. The shareholders, Remgro, Patrice Motsepe and the BBRU, together with the staff, have an amazing ambition to not only take the Bulls back to number one, but also re-invent and re-mould the face of rugby in this country,” White said.
Additionally, White hoped that his tenure will also have positive spillover effect on the reigning world champions the Springboks.
“It’s no secret that our franchise rugby needs to be strong for the Boks to be strong. I’m looking forward to doing whatever it takes help keep them at number one.”
The Bulls are three-time winners of the Super Rugby claiming the prize in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
They currently lie in fourth place in Super Rugby’s South Africa Conference and are 11th in the overall standings.