Coaches and players divulge intel after switching teams, says Jake White, ahead of a battle of wits between the Vodacom Bulls boss and his former assistant, Sean Everitt.
The Bulls face Edinburgh in round 5 of the Vodacom URC at the Hive Stadium on Friday night, the first time the teams have met since the Scottish outfit appointed the experienced Everitt on an initial one-year deal ahead of this season.
The former Sharks head coach joined the Scots from the Bulls – where he held a consulting position since February – and also served as one of White’s deputies at the Shark Tank in 2013.
Asked in a teleconference call from Scotland on Thursday if Everitt likely shared knowledge of the Bulls setup with Edinburgh, White replied: “Probably, but I’m quite fortunate … I probably know him better than most other coaches know him.
“I know how he thinks, I know how he coaches… and I know he is clever enough not to go too far from what Edinburgh wants to do.
“Edinburgh plays a certain style, Scotland plays a certain style, and I’m sure he’ll bring one or two nuances to the team but not go too far from what has made them successful in the past.
“He did share a few things with us when he came to the Bulls, but the nice thing about coaching is you get details from other guys, you share things. Good coaches are the ones who can adapt and use that and make sure you improve as a coach as well.”
Seasoned backs Henry Immelman and Jaco van der Walt swapped Edinburgh for the Bulls in the off-season, while Akker van der Merwe’s younger brother Duhan plays for Edinburgh.
Van der Walt is set to make an impact off the bench on Saturday, and White added: “Jaco comes in [to the matchday 23]; he knows the players, he knows the stadium, he knows the environment… We can use him against a team he knows very well.
“[Bulls loose forward] Mpilo Gumede was at the Sharks while Sean was at the Sharks… the hooker who will play against us [on Friday night] was with Akker van der Merwe at the Sale Sharks – Akker’s brother plays for Edinburgh so there’s enough intel there!
“Akker’s hooker friend [Ewan Ashman] now plays for Edinburgh. Jaco used to play for Edinburgh. Sean used to coach Mpilo… I’m sure it’s the same when players who leave the Bulls go somewhere else, they’ll know what Jake does or says, or know what the defence coach thinks.
“It makes it fascinating and exciting because you’ve got to be on top of your game, and keeps players and coaches on their toes.”
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