Wallabies approached White in February
July 11, 2013
The Australian Rugby Union reportedly approached Brumbies boss Jake White back in February © Getty Images
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) reportedly approached Brumbies coach Jake White about taking over from the then Wallabies coach Robbie Deans as far back as February.
The axe fell on Deans earlier this week in the wake of the Wallabies' series defeat to the British & Irish Lions but it has emerged that worried Australian rugby chiefs initiated contingency plans before the start of the Super Rugby season.
Fairfax Media reports that former Sprinboks coach White made a formal presentation to the ARU in Melbourne on the eve of Australia's second Test victory over the Lions but was eventually edged by Reds boss Ewen McKenzie with a desire for an Australian coach - following New Zealander Deans - a key factor in his appointment.
White is contracted to the Super Rugby title-chasing Brumbies until the end of 2015 but still has a desire to return to the international stage at some point in his coaching career. "I'd like to test myself in the real world against the best opposition [in international rugby] and I'm sure that day will come," White said.
"It's not meant to be in the Australian set up, that's the way it is. I wish Ewen all the best. I really believe the ARU went for the best candidate for the job and I have to respect that. I felt the presentation, package and vision I gave [to the ARU] was a genuine understanding of what is needed in Australian rugby … I did what I thought was the right thing."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
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