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White may be Wallabies contender

By Adrian Warren 30/10/2007 09:09:09 PM Comments (0)

South Africa's World Cup winning coach Jake White may yet be a contender for the vacant Wallabies post after his agent contacted the Australian Rugby Union to find out details of the application process.

ARU high performance manager Pat Howard confirmed Craig Livingstone contacted him on behalf of White last week but had yet to hear anything more.

"I've outlined the process to him and that's all that had happened," Howard told AAP.

The Wallabies job may well be in White's crosshairs after he did not apply to continue in the Springbok position.

White advised South African rugby he didn't want to make a decision on his coaching future at this point in time.

He has been linked to other national coaching positions, including those of England and Wales and has until Friday to lodge an application for the Australian post.

"I interviewed Jake White a year ago for the Leicester head coaching position and I appreciate that he will have a lot of decisions to make," Howard said.

"I am more in the wait and see mentality at the moment.

"We've got a lot of good candidates that we are considering and I can only move forward on the guys we've got."

The list of candidates already includes multi Super rugby title winning coach Robbie Deans, former Brumbies Super 12 winner and current Blues coach David Nucifora, Wallabies assistant coaches, John Muggleton and Scott Johnson, Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie and Brumbies mentor Laurie Fisher.

Last week ARU chief executive officer John O'Neill said ideally he'd like an Australian to succeed departing coach John Connolly but the priority was to: "get the best person for the job" and if Jake White was an applicant, the ARU would "certainly consider his application."

Howard said White had a very impressive CV which also included a Tri Nations title.

"He's had a very successful period, I'm sure that we'd have to look at it if it came across our desk," Howard said.

Former Wallabies coach and media personality Alan Jones is also believed to be considering an application.

"I think he (Jones) and John O'Neill will have a conversation during the week," Howard said.

Jones, who hasn't held a rugby union post since the sport turned professional in 1996, said the notion he was out of touch "was a bit off a laugh".

"There are still 15 players and one football and you've got to work with that," Jones told Network 10.

"When I took charge in the eighties there were similar problems, I mean the game was in some sort of mess. They weren't winning and you had to change the way in which the game was being played and we did that then."

The ARU is set to conduct formal interviews on November 9, with their board to discuss the candidates a week later, with a final announcement scheduled by the end of that month.

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