Former Springbok head coach Jake White has been linked with a move to the PRO14.


Afrikaans outlet Rapport are reporting that the former Rugby World Cup-winning coach with the Springboks has inquired as to the vacant ‘Head Coach and Director of Rugby’ role at the Toyota Cheetahs.

White currently coaches at Toyota Verblitz in Japan but is set to be replaced by current All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen after the Rugby World Cup.

The report suggests that White has inquired about the role that would see him return to his native South Africa. The 55-year-old is no stranger to aggressively pursuing roles, having infamously contacted Rugby Australia in 2018 during a particularly rocky period for current Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika.

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Last week the Directors of the Free State Cheetahs gave their blessing to Franco Smith to pursue a role within the Italian Rugby set-up as of `1 January, 2020. In the meantime Smith will remain in the position as Head Coach of the Cheetahs for the Currie Cup, whereafter the new coach will take over the reins for Guinness PRO14 in September.


The PRO14 side that applications for the position will be “advertised internally, externally and through SARU.” White would be required to be part of the coaching structures during Currie Cup “to experience the culture” and would have to work alongside Smith, who will stay in the fold as Director of Rugby until the end of November 2019.

The Cheetahs Board of Directors has started with the process by assigning a panel which includes relevant “role players” that will be responsible to appoint the “best candidate as the new Head Coach for the Toyota Cheetahs”.

A statement last week read: “Franco was offered the opportunity to coach the Italian national side from 1 January 2020. The Board of Directors see this as a great opportunity for Franco and is proud of the fact that so many top coaches have been developed by the Free State Cheetahs.

“Free State Rugby is seen as a breeding ground of opportunity with coaches like Rassie Erasmus, Niel Powell, Jacques Nienaber, Pote Human, Brendon Venter, Rory Duncan, Daan Human, who all started off in the Free State – and in the past, Nelie Smith, Gysie Pienaar and others.


“The Board of Directors is proud of and wishes Franco the best of luck with the opportunity to coach on an international level until the next world cup in 2023.”

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