The sudden (or unexpected departure of Jake White from the ACT Brumbies has left some people dumbfounded, others wondering about the future, others felt it was a weird experience that when the coach had everything humming (except the trophy) he packed up his light luggage and took a nostalgic trip to re-charge his batteries in South Africa.
He certainly received a lot of plaudits and compliments form the Brumbies Brigade and supporters for the excellent work done in short time. Nonetheless, I’d like to be the cynic or realist to balance the colours of this rugby palette. In my modest opinion this situation in a way reflects the state of Australian Rugby (not very good and of course it can improve!) Once read: “there is no pest that would last 99 years or a person that would endure it”
Jake White is a very good proven Professional Coach (BTW human too) and I’m sure (albeit not certain) he got rewarded handsomely for his services. The fact that Ewen McKenzie started his tenure with 3 “shockers” and a win makes JW look even better.
Now if a bloke gets selected and contracted to do a job, that’s what he did, nothing fanciful about it a very good coach indeed. However, because we are not used to see guys of that calibre in our shores. Furthermore people at Monaro Way (quite rightly so) have thrown the accolades and a Mexican wave or two celebrating JW’s achievements. It comes to mind that we’ve been imposed and exposed upon for 6 long years to a NZ coach that failed to deliver on his promises (and it was his bottom line not any other) and a CEO that was at loggerheads in retaining a losing coach, WHY? Thus, JW as a RWC winning coach also looks a lot better now.
I bet you in NZ they will have about 10 JW’s and also know the differences between a good coach and a Fake Jake. They just have been damn unlucky and victims of their own success and didn’t touch the WWE trophy for 24 years but at the same time they continue having the BEST depth in world rugby that eventually made them win in 2011. We had 2 RWC’s in our cabinet and no depth, and here we are talking about different types of competitions, tiers and tears!
If Australian Rugby didn’t stop the “production line” of potential national coaches we would have been able to retain many that for that reason went coaching overseas! See, we not only stopped 2 or 3 coaches not getting the top job but probably 15-20 apprentices that went coaching all over the world. Isn’t that a lack of strategic vision? Did we ever have one? I’m afraid to say the Australian Rugby Titanic has been sailing without a rudder for loooooooong time! Any corrective action taken yet?
We had roughly since 1995 a substandard and inadequate National Coaches Development program which has failed time and time again to improve coaching standards in this country. Again the big problem is that veil of exclusivity and discrimination in which things have been run for too long. I know from a fact that another ex Wallaby and myself, also a School Coach were denied some years ago entry to the Level III Coaching courses. So, I can conclude thought I was RED marked: (NTCA = Not To Coach Again) by some small minded individual(s), and there you have it. Where is the Australian fair go? Where is the egalitarian country………………..?
Let’s face it, if we truly want to improve in rugby we need to invest time and work like any other country in world rugby on “grassroots” that feed club, Super 15 and Internationals. It is amazing we have so many educated and intelligent people in rugby, yet when it comes to their beloved sport their brains go “walkabout” preferring a political stoush at board level that probably gives them an erection that can’t have at home.
Rugby once and for all needs to make a huge turn into an inclusive sport (that means not only the GPS schools get preferential treatment. That means when Australian Rugby needs a particular person for a job, they don’t go single picking, you advertise widely to the public and let the lot to apply on their merits! So, I propose: meritocracy Yes, aristocracy No!
Thank you guys and gals, feel a bit lighter now,
Enrique TOPO Rodriguez