Life and death of a rumour: Did Jake White want the England job?

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

 , , , , ,

69 Have your say

    Jake White. Source: Alan Porritt / AAP

    Related coverage

    With the benefit of hindsight, and with the emotions of the matter having now been washed away by a hard-fought, last-minute win, it’s worth looking back on this whole ‘Jake White England coach head-hunted’ situation with a bit of objectivity.

    It really was a weird week in the world of rugby rumours. The rumour itself had been around for a few weeks, but for no obvious reason it started building its own momentum this time last week.

    Never mind that Stuart Lancaster is doing a more than reasonable job with the England squad in the Six Nations, either. England made it known after the post-Rugby World Cup resignation of Martin Johnson that they would go to the corners of the globe to find a suitably credentialed success-guaranteeing replacement.

    Moreover, it seems that an existing contract will be a mere detail.

    For his part, White raised a fair point on why he’s continually linked to any and every international job going. “When there’s [only] six World Cup-winning coaches… and I’m the only guy actively involved in [coaching], chances are that speculation will always be there,” he said on Wednesday.

    Indeed, so swiftly had he been linked to the not-yet vacant South African job as they were bundled out of 2011 RWC, some Springbok players were still making their way from the playing surface of Wellington’s ‘Cake tin’.

    Whatever the reasons for the continual speculation, the rumour wouldn’t go away. It got to the point last week where a mate sent me an email asking what I knew, which considering how thoroughly un-connected I am to these type of things, it was a sure sign that there was a bit more to this one than just smoke.

    White’s statements suddenly changing was another.

    Where previously we’d lost count of the number times in past months White had said, “I’m committed to the Brumbies for the next four years,” by Wednesday this had become, “They had a distraction last year and the last thing they need now is another distraction.”

    With the Andy Friend saga still fresh in the average Brumbies fan’s mind, and almost a year on to the day, this news was the proverbial ‘déjà vu all over again’.

    Whether they liked it or not and whether they wanted to get involved or not, the club was jolted into action. Chairman and CEO met with White to thrash it out, and it’s from here that the ‘will see out the season’ talk emanated.

    By Thursday, we saw the interestingly worded statement from the Brumbies, confirming that White had been sounded out by the RFU, and that he had “declared interest in exploring his options.”

    Sensing an ambush, the Brumbies canceled a photo and vision opportunity for the media, and withdrew White from the regular Thursday team announcement, leaving Captain Ben Mowen with the task of naming the team.

    By this stage, however, I couldn’t blame White for “exploring his options”. The unlimited resources and pure power of the RFU making contact with a professional rugby coach must be like the local shopkeeper getting an enquiring call from Woolworths. I have no contractual obligations to The Roar per se, but rest assured that if one of the major sports media organisations made contact, I’d explore the hell out of my options, too.

    From the Brumbies’ perspective though, you couldn’t help but feel sympathy. They’d thrown whatever they could at Jake White to secure him for four years, rebuilt their rugby program per his specifications, and suddenly had something pop up not of their doing that forced them into damage control.

    And somehow, it was their fault too. CEO Andrew Fagan once told me he’d come to accept that he was held responsible for anything from the temperature of the Canberra Stadium pies to the starriness or blueness of the sky above it.

    Sure enough, Canberra Times readers were commenting that White’s departure would be just another point “in a long list of failures and decline under Fagan.” Bows surely aren’t drawn any longer.

    Then late on Friday afternoon, White unexpectedly killed the rumour dead. After refusing to rule anything out initially, and indeed very publically applying for the role ultimately, White had suddenly pulled out of the race, and re-declared his four-year commitment to the Brumbies.

    “It’s [coaching internationally] something I’d look at – it doesn’t mean now, it doesn’t mean leaving my job,” White told a stunned media.

    “I’m here for four years with the Brumbies. I’ve signed on the bottom line and you’ve got to judge people by their actions.

    “Nothing’s changed – I’m still committed to the Brumbies.”

    And that was that.

    Out of all this, the only real big positive was Mowen himself. In a week of unknowns, guesswork, and rampant speculation, Mowen spoke only in truths and absolutes. “As far as I’m aware, Jake’s here for four years,” and “we’re not really thinking anything outside of [beating the Cheetahs],” remained his message.

    That outstanding management of the situation in front of him followed through to Saturday afternoon, too, when on the presentation of a 75th minute full-arm scrum penalty right in front, Mowen pointed immediately to the posts despite the Brumbies trailing 23-18 at that point.

    Though big sections of the crowd weren’t amused – including my baying-for-a-try wife – it was absolutely the right call, with the Brumbies dominating territory and possession, and with referee Keith Brown needing only the slightest error to penalise the Cheetahs again.

    The Brumbies quickly found themselves back deep in the Cheetahs half, earned the 80th minute scrum penalty, and Christian Lealiifano found himself mobbed as the ball sailed between the uprights to secure the 24-23 win.

    Mowen was now a genius, and it wasn’t hard to see why he was White’s choice to lead a new era at the Brumbies.

    And though I doubt highly that my column from last week was any motivation, I was really pleased to see Matt Toomua’s running game return. I’d suggest that was his best game for the Brumbies in close to two years.

    The win was the perfect reward for an unbelievably turbulent week. A dominant second half of a game played in idyllic conditions under a beautiful blue sky saw the Brumbies run over the top of the Cheetahs and keep their unbeaten 2012 account intact.

    Post-match, hurrying to put the focus back on the rugby, White declared the coaching saga “finished once and for all.”

    And it probably is. Until it’s not again.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (69)

    • March 13th 2012 @ 6:39am
      kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 6:39am | ! Report

      I think White was interested but discovered that Twickenham would prefer a successful South African coach who hadn’t beaten them in a World Cup final to one who had.

      I think Mallett’s 17 match winning streak is far more impressive that White’s easy passage to the RWC Cup. Frankly it was a cake-walk for White to win it with the draw he got, and means little about his coaching. He may be a good coach for other reasons, but not that! Fiji were only just beaten, Argentina largely through the referee and in any case so what, and an exhausted England team made up of largely weak players. A joke.

      His treatment of the Brumbies is appalling though: he knew a top international jobs would appear after the RWC BEFORE he signed up for the Brumbies. He knew this team had been through chaos and needed a coach who would commit for a number of years, not swan off at the first better offer.

      Now he has shown what he really thinks of the Brumbies: a staging post, a stop-off until something better comes along.

      “When there’s [only] six World Cup-winning coaches… and I’m the only guy actively involved in [coaching], chances are that speculation will always be there,”

      The gigantic egotism behind that statement shows why once a coach has had a certain amount of success he often finds it difficult not to hold lesser positions in disdain. Such coaches rarely have the success they did before too.

      Having not won a World Cup and thereby kept his modesty, Mallett looks a much better and humbler bet than White for England too.

      But why should anyone care about the insignificant Brumbies when the vastly more important interests of superstar Jake White are at stake?

      • March 13th 2012 @ 8:33am
        mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        wow harsh KPM. are u upsett hat he said no to RFU? that RFU approached him? or the fact that the media grabbed and ran with it?
        considering the brumbies got the desired result and jakeWhite is staying loyal: your pretty bitter about him.
        imho jakeWhite would be one of few non kiwi’s with the nous and qualifications to coach the AB’s. not that that would ever happen tho.

        • March 13th 2012 @ 8:50am
          kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

          mania I have pondered this over the weekend and I can’t really see White’s point of view.

          He knew great jobs would come up after the RWC before he joined the Brumbies so why did he sign a four year contract if he thought he might consider them? He knew the Brumbies were in turmoil and so he should only have taken on the job if he had ruled out other options in the immediate future.

          I think when he signed for the Brumbies given their very unusual circumstances he should have personally committed himself to a minimum of two years and not even considered other options afterwards.

          This public uncertainty in the week will have done the Brumbies no favour and is more normal from a prima donna player than a coach.

          • March 13th 2012 @ 9:01am
            mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:01am | ! Report

            KPM – so your mad because he entertained the idea? nothing wrong with that. at the end of the day you have to loyal to number one.
            the fact that the RFU approached him with their big money bags and Jake said no should put him in a better light shouldnt it? the work he’s doing at the brumbies is positive and shows he’s thinking long term.
            if its his arrogance you dont like that i can understand but i thought measuring on his results vs his personality is a better and more useful measure

            • March 13th 2012 @ 9:12am
              kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:12am | ! Report

              mania I wouldn’t say I’m mad at all: in fact I have almost no personal reaction to him.

              I have said if you look carefully why he shouldn’y have entertained such ideas immediately after committing to the disaster-struck Brumbies.

              • March 13th 2012 @ 9:19am
                mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                i read all that. so your bitter that he considered the offer? who wouldnt? a bigger richer employer approaches you, wouldnt you consider it with all the bonuses as well as repurcussions? sounds to me jake reacted in the normal way any other sane person would.
                end result is he decided to stay despite all the temptation from RFU

              • March 13th 2012 @ 9:28am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

                ‘He knew great jobs would come up after the RWC before he joined the Brumbies so why did he sign a four year contract if he thought he might consider them? He knew the Brumbies were in turmoil and so he should only have taken on the job if he had ruled out other options in the immediate future.

                I think when he signed for the Brumbies given their very unusual circumstances he should have personally committed himself to a minimum of two years and not even considered other options afterwards.’

          • March 13th 2012 @ 11:06am
            thurl said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            It only took 4 years for this great job to come up. Perhaps a lack of options is why he did sign 4 years. I’d be surprised if England were all that serious about him to be honest. Sounding someone out is vastly different to sending them the job application form. Wayne Smith and Nick Mallet would be way ahead of him.

      • Columnist

        March 13th 2012 @ 9:10am
        Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        KPM, that’s certainly one view of the situation, and I’m not going to pretend to know how accurate it is one way or the other. I’ve mentioned this before though, I would be genuinely surprised if White beating England in a RWC Final was to be held against him. It could even have been a case of ‘let’s get the guy who beat us’ which would be a rather flattering compliment to White.

        And I think the Brumbies knew full well that this sort of thing might happen when they signed White, too. Remember, it is his first full-time coaching engagement since the 2007 RWC Final. There would always be a danger for them that White would be successful, and that international sides would come calling. But even from White’s perspective, I don’t think anyone imagined it would happen so soon.

        Likewise, while there is a little ego in the “six World Cup-winning coaches” comment, I do think it’s still healthy. Fact of the matter is that there are only six World Cup-winning coaches. The day after White said this, Sir Graham Henry was announced as Argentina’s consultant coach. RWC coaches remain in demand; it was a major reason for the Rebels getting Rod McQueen. It’s why Sir Clive Woodward can walk into any sporting job in England he wants. Even Bob Dwyer’s thoughts and opinions on coaching are still sought, more than 20 years on.

        That all said, White has now re-committed to the Brumbies for now, and Australian rugby will be the better for it. There was a funny moment in the presser on Saturday where Ben Alexander (who was there speaking about his 50th SR Cap) mentioned that his Dad was in England and missed the milestone match.

        White interrupted and said “I expect to read ‘Ben Alexander’s father to coach England’ in the papers now..” to laughter in the room. It showed a lighter side to White, and an acknowledgement to what really had been a weird week..

        • March 13th 2012 @ 9:17am
          kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Brett I’m glad you have such a sunny view of White and certainly this week is now in the past and I wouldn’t doubt at all that White can coach the Brumbies better than most competition.

          I personally despite trying hard to see his perspective cannot see his behaviour so positively. He would have known when he signed for the Brumbies that a few months later the English job might well be available. I think he should not have signed for the Brumbies if he was considering applying should it come up. The club were in turmoil.

          As for England appointing a nemesis:

          • Columnist

            March 13th 2012 @ 9:40am
            Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:40am | ! Report

            that article doesn’t come from the ‘nemesis’ angle at all though, it just explores whether the RFU is ready to embrace a South African presence in its national set-up along the lines of the ECB. I really think you’re making much out of nothing over the 2007 result.

            As for seeing his behaviour positively, it’s not like that at all. You seem to have it in your head that I’m becoming a White apologist or something, when all I am doing here is tieing all the parts of the story together.

            I must agree with Mania here, White has done what plenty of normal human beings would do – and have done – in the same situation. I don’t know whether White “would have known” at all when he signed up to the Brumbies, and even if he did know, why does that matter? Knowing roles might come up and then actually applying for them are two very different things.

            Like I said, people start new jobs, even sign long-term contracts, and then have their circumstances change on them all the time. So what’s really the issue here, what’s your real beef in all this?

            • March 13th 2012 @ 9:59am
              mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

              yeah i agree Brett.
              kpm your allowed to have your pet peeves, i’m just interested in your logic of why you dont like jake. not a big deal i’m just interested in your thought processes.
              u say that jake had an easy run in 2007 to WC glory but jake had nothing to do with the resultant draw and more importantly he kept the boks together and they didnt self destruct. when they made the finals he came up with a strong strategy to beat england. albeit it was same old same old kick and pressure but they stuck to the game plan and it paid dividends.
              boks kept the bulk of their players from the 2007 WC team that jake put together.
              jakes an excellent coach. he took on the brumbies i imagine becasue it would be a challenge. he turned the RFU down because he’s committed to brumbies.
              the negativeity and the press coverage he recieved from the RFU offer was outside of his control and to be honest who cares. its not directly related to rugby performance.

              • March 13th 2012 @ 10:33am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:33am | ! Report

                I never said I didn’t like White Mania, just that I don’t approve of his behaviour at the Brumbies nor do I think winning the World Cup in his case was much of an achievement.

                That England team was exhausted and full of some very bad players.

                Beating Fiji and Argentina was one of the easiest tasks ever to be given to a coach.

                He didn’t even beat a team in the top five in the world to win the World Cup!

              • March 13th 2012 @ 10:44am
                mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                but all that being said he didnt have any control of england being tired or argentina and fiji making the 1/4’s and semi’s.
                jake had nothing to do with how the draw panned out.
                what he did control is he kept the boks together and built up a team that could’ve challenged any top 5 team.
                this amongst all the political turmoil and back stabbing he had to go through i’d have to say that jake white is an awesome coach. to survive SA politics and win a WC in the process, then get dumped after winning the most coveted prize in worldRugby is a tragedy worthy of shakespeare.
                i agree jakes arrogant but then so are most top sportspeople. some call it arrogance but i consider it self belief.
                anyway i’ll stop bugging u about this KPM. its not that important in the scheme of things

              • Columnist

                March 13th 2012 @ 10:45am
                Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                KPM, the draw presented in 2007 is hardly White’s fault. There’s no asterix next to ‘South Africa’ on the WWE Trophy for goodness’ sake..

              • March 13th 2012 @ 10:51am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                Brett it’s not his fault indeed, but it does mean that it was much less hard to win the RWC.

                If you don’t have to beat any of the top 5 teams in the world to win it, then it’s easier than any Tri-nations match.

              • March 13th 2012 @ 10:55am
                mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:55am | ! Report

                “but it does mean that it was much less hard to win the RWC..”

                KPM isnt that the same argument ppl use for Queensland winning the super title last year

              • March 13th 2012 @ 11:02am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

                mania I don’t think it is. The Reds beat the Crusaders and Blues, two of the top sides in the competition. White beat no one in the Top 5 in the world.

              • Columnist

                March 13th 2012 @ 11:03am
                Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                it doesn’t matter though – the prize at the end was still the Rugby World Cup, which was won fair and square. If you want to pick through history, you could probably apply similar logic to all number of winners in who knows how many sports. It’s that same argument that attempts to play down Murali’s Test wickets tally becuase of the number he took against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

                Winning a RWC (or any major title, for that matter) involves a massive committment from the individual to be able to do all the planning, coaching, and man management required to get everyone working toward a common goal. It’s a process that takes years, not weeks.

                To simply write all that off because of the draw that presented, or the age or fitness or quality of the opposition beaten on the day is, in my humble opinion, grossly unfair and borderline disrespectful toward the achievement..

              • March 13th 2012 @ 11:03am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                mania you’re right that it’s fine for someone like White to be arrogant, but acting on that arrogance is a different issue.

              • March 13th 2012 @ 11:07am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:07am | ! Report

                Well in that case I am proud to be disrespectful of it.

                It was a cakewalk. The draw does matter, and beating Fiji isn’t the same as beating France, nor is beating Argentina the same as beating New Zealand. White got lucky, and it does matter in any objective assessement of him as a coach.

                Which is why as I said in the first place, I think Mallett’s achievement in 17 successive victories is more impressive than beating Fiji, Argentina and exhausted England.

                Hence if the RFU have favoured Mallett over White, and that is why he recommitted to the Brumbies, it shows good judgement on their part.

              • March 13th 2012 @ 11:10am
                mania said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:10am | ! Report

                KPM – nah acting arrogant is an awesome way to keep your opposition guessing, ala muhammad ali vs georgeForeman.
                i dont see a big deal in the way jake handled the RFU. he wasnt disloyal to anyone, he composed himself with honour and stayed true to himself and the brumbies.

              • March 13th 2012 @ 11:59am
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                mania that’s pretty much true!

            • March 13th 2012 @ 11:00am
              kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:00am | ! Report

              My beef is simple: the Brumbies was never a case of taking over a normal club. They were in a highly unusual state of disorder having fired their coach and seen their season and crowds plummet. Anyone taking over this sinking ship should have committed to at least two years in order to steady it, KNOWING FULL WELL (can’t get italics to work) the disruption a premature departure would cause.

              It’s ok in exceptional circumstances to leave a team after a year, though to be honest it’s not good for the club at all, but in a very unusual case like the Brumbies it is far worse. It would be salt into an already gaping wound.

              What’s more as I said he knew perfectly well the England job was likely to come up soon when he signed with the Brumbies. He should never have committed to them, knowing the damage it would do if he was thinking of leaving immediately.

              This is an opinion which gives some indication of it:

              • Columnist

                March 13th 2012 @ 11:12am
                Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                I said this to you the other day though, when White signed the Brumbies deal, England had not long won the Six Nations. At that point – June last year – there was no way ANYONE knew the England job would become vacant. At that point last year, England were just as likely to win the RWC!

                White may have thought that internaional roles might come up after the RWC, but he couldn’t possibly have known where they’d be.

                To say he “he knew perfectly well the England job was likely to come up” is a massive assumption KPM, and you surely know that..

    • March 13th 2012 @ 7:14am
      mace 22 said | March 13th 2012 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      I think it was great for the brumbies. It kept the team in the sport headlines for a week. The articles might have been about white but i bet the word brumbies was mentioned at least five times in each article. I wouldn’t be surpised when white had his meeting with fagan the first sentence was how can we exploit this. Then beating the cheetahs capped off a great publicity week for the brumbies.

      • Columnist

        March 13th 2012 @ 9:19am
        Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        Mace, in the sense that all publicity is good publicity, there could be something in that, sure. The Brumbies were dragged into it, and it looked as though there was no way they could come out on top, but somehow they did. And they handled it all pretty well, considering..

    • Roar Guru

      March 13th 2012 @ 8:43am
      Rugby Fan said | March 13th 2012 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      I suspect the RFU sounded him out because they want to be seen to be making a selection from a position of strength. I doubt White was directly offered the post. I can imagine some RFU member asking him if he’d like to submit an application and suggesting it would be well received, even if their main preference for an overseas coach seems to be Mallett. As it stands, a lot of high profile club and national coaches have decided not to apply so the the RFU isn’t really selecting from a deep pool of talent. Since Kirwan was turned down, I think the only curent official applications are Mallett, Lancaster and Eddie O’Sullivan.

      • Columnist

        March 13th 2012 @ 9:29am
        Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        And RF, Lancaster continues to mount a decent case. If there’s anyone who has been a touch harshly dealt with in all this, it’s probably him..

    • March 13th 2012 @ 8:54am
      kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      Rugby Fan I can’t imagine some RFU board members would contemplate appointing the victorious RWC coach of the 2007 final.

      it’s strange that out of the three names you mention, Mallett seems the only outstanding coach: the richest rugby nation in the world only has one outstanding coach applying for the job.

      • Roar Guru

        March 13th 2012 @ 9:37am
        Rugby Fan said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        If the RFU are really intending to appoint a non-English coach, they would have no qualms about considering White. Indeed, by the terms of the remit they have set themselves, it would be a dereliction not to look at him.

        I don’t think you can blame Jake White for listening to an approach from England. You can learn a lot about the rugby world by hearing how other teams see things, and White would have been showing no disrespect to his club if he listened to what England had to say. He wasn’t putting himself on the block, and as I said, It’s not as if the RFU was making him a job offer: rather they were asking him if he would submit an application. He said no, so the only harm done is to England’s chances of looking like they are selecting from the cream of the world’s coaching talent.

        • March 13th 2012 @ 9:48am
          kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          Rugby Fan I answered this point at length above.

          As for England see this: That’s probably why nothing came of White.

          Lancaster is average for me: players like Dowson, Robshaw and Barritt, even Farrell and Sharples are not international quality and show a profound absence of imagination and a conception of rugby as about solidity rather than brilliance.

          How a coach with such a threadbare record could even be considered for the top job is extraordinary but then it happened before with even more disastrous results.

          Lancaster is deeply average.

          No Johnson, no Lancaster, but a top, professional, proven, highly successful coach. It’s very, very simple.

          • Columnist

            March 13th 2012 @ 10:43am
            Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            for what it’s worth, that average coach is one win away – albeit mathematically – from winning the Six Nations. It’s like a temp making the biggest trade of the day on the stock market floor. Lancaster must be doing something right, KPM..

            • March 13th 2012 @ 10:54am
              kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Brett he’s doing ok but two wins are against Scotland and Italy who are low ranking teams and France played and were tactically abominable. He hasn’t achieved much yet in my opinion: his selection and tactics are lumbering and unimaginative. He has some basic competence but is average which is probably why he was never coaching a top premiership side. Indeed any of the premiership coaches would be better.

              To compare a victory over a laughable French side and a couple of low quality teams with the CV of Nick Mallett is false and to their credit I don’t believe the RFU are really doing it, although out of politeness they don’t say so.

              • Columnist

                March 13th 2012 @ 11:21am
                Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:21am | ! Report

                I hope you’re not a school teacher, KPM, you’d be hard marker for sure…

    • Roar Guru

      March 13th 2012 @ 9:28am
      Mark Richmond said | March 13th 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      The other point to consider is, that if this had all remained behind closed doors as it were, he may have been approached, considered and decided not to apply and non of us would have been the wiser. I wonder how many other coaches or players are approached to go elsewhere and nothing is heard….probably quite a few. In this instance may be it was just that the story leaked out that has caused all the angst.

      • Columnist

        March 13th 2012 @ 10:01am
        Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Guru, without wanting to turn this into a ‘anti-Brumbies Sydney media’ thing, there had been snippets about the RFU circling White for several weeks. Evidently the whispers got louder, to the point where some Canberra Times guys approached the Brumbies and told them what they were going to print. And from there, it blew up.

        But I do take your point about things being kept in house. I’m still wanting to ask them whether they actively chased last year a current Australian no.10 who I very nearly ran into in a shopping centre last year. At the time of the day it was, and being a Wednesday in the middle of the season, it seemd very strange he would be in Canberra. The point being that even when things are meant to be in-house (and I’m sure they would’ve preferred to keep the RFU approach quiet), they find a way of getting out…

        • March 13th 2012 @ 11:04am
          kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          Brett do you know where Johnno went?

          • Columnist

            March 13th 2012 @ 11:13am
            Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:13am | ! Report

            not a clue. I still wonder if he’s morphed back in Oikee and is back in NRL mode. I’m not convinced they’re different people..

            • March 13th 2012 @ 11:27am
              kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:27am | ! Report

              Brett maybe he was Jake White and has been busy with all these distractions 🙂

              • Columnist

                March 13th 2012 @ 11:33am
                Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                that would be a special kind of irony..

              • March 13th 2012 @ 12:00pm
                kingplaymaker said | March 13th 2012 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                Indeed. He would have to be a real Jekyll and Hyde character to have pulled off those two personalities though!

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2012 @ 10:43am
          Mark Richmond said | March 14th 2012 @ 10:43am | ! Report

          any clues as to who it was?

          • Columnist

            March 14th 2012 @ 12:03pm
            Brett McKay said | March 14th 2012 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

            Not before I get to mention his name to someone at Brumby HQ to see a reaction!

            All I’ll say is that he’s an established player, and plays mainly at 10, though has spent time at 12…

    • Columnist

      March 13th 2012 @ 10:53am
      Ryan O'Connell said | March 13th 2012 @ 10:53am | ! Report

      “I have no contractual obligations to The Roar per se. . .”

      Don’t be fooled Roarers, my sources tell me that McKay’s contract with The Roar exceeds seven figures.

      • Columnist

        March 13th 2012 @ 11:06am
        Brett McKay said | March 13th 2012 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        Yep, it’s true. The Roar pay me to five decimal places. I earn thousandths of cents…

    , , , , ,