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Coach White will quit South Africa

  • Story Highlights
  • Jake White will stand down as South Africa coach at the end of this year
  • White led Springboks to World Cup glory in Saturday's final against England
  • He will take the team on the short tour to Wales and England in November
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PARIS, France -- South Africa coach Jake White has confirmed that he will leave his role with the 2007 world champions when his contract expires at the end of December.

Jake White intends to bow out as Springboks coach at the end of this year.

The 43-year-old was told that he had to reapply for his job during the last week of the World Cup in France, but he let that October 19 deadline lapse in favor of focusing on the team's build-up to Saturday's 15-6 final victory against England.

White, who has had a stormy reign since taking over in 2004, intends to lead the Springboks on the short European tour of Wales and England in November.

His team will play a Test against the Welsh and a match against Barbarians at Twickenham.

"I'll be in charge then, I've been with this fantastic group of players," said White, who last November was almost sacked during the Boks' northern hemisphere tour after a series of poor results.

"I'm going to take them there, it's a fitting way to finish off with them.

"Look at Monty (fullback Percy Montgomery) and Os du Randt, they were written off four years ago and they played probably the biggest role on Saturday in a World Cup final. I owe it to them just to finish off my tenure.

"I've picked the team already for the end of year tour, it's John Smit, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha.

"My job comes up for renewal at the end of the year, my tenure says 31st of December it's all over, and I'm very thankful that come December 31, I can say I've been there and done that, now I can move on."

Veteran prop du Randt has announced he is retiring after becoming only the fourth player to win two World Cups, after Australians Tim Horan, Jason Little and John Eales.

The 35-year-old, also a winner in 1995, said: "I'm very fortunate to win again, so I have to thank the boys. But this is my last game. I'm going to go back to my farm to see my boys growing up and enjoy my family."

South African rugby, which has been stricken by race rows in the past several years, faces a difficult future.

The country's President Thabo Mbeki wants there to be more than two black players in the Springboks' line-up by the time of the 2011 tournament in New Zealand - wingers Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen were the only non-whites to regularly feature in White's side in France.

And before the tournament started, there were massive disputes over whether players could join non-South African clubs and still play for their country.

The South African Rugby Union was forced to back down and delay a final decision, but an exodus has already begun with the likes of captain John Smit and lock Victor Matfield joining French clubs.

Smit said: "We have a really colorful country, a diverse culture and 11 different languages. The amount of forward momentum we have gained in the last 12 years, since the last time we picked up this cup, has just been incredible.

"I hope it will create a scenario where everyone buys into it and celebrates together. It's a great step forward for us to celebrate as 45 South Africans when we get home on Tuesday."

Scrum-half Fourie du Preez added: "We are very unsettled at the moment and we don't know what is happening in South African rugby.

"Lots of contracts finish this year and there is a lot of uncertainty. We will deal with it at home, though. Hopefully, common sense will prevail in South Africa rugby."

White has been linked with a technical director role with Wales, while Australia are also seeking a head coach to replace John Connolly.

"No matter how tough you are, how much bravado you have, you are going to miss international rugby," he said.

"When it's in your blood, you want to stay involved in international rugby. But as I feel now, I just want to spend some time with my family, enjoy the next couple of weeks, and then I'll have time to reflect exactly where we are."

  • France captain Raphael Ibanez has been suspended for one week for stamping on Argentina's Rimas Alvarez Kairelis in the World Cup third place play-off on Friday. The hooker, who was also sin-binned for the offense, will miss his English club Wasps' Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Newport Gwent on Saturday.
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