Jake hopes to extend stay

Jake White would like to extend his six-month stint with Montpellier by another two years.

White took over from Fabien Galthié as head coach last month after the French club had lost nine consecutive matches. The 2007 World Cup-winning coach made a good start to his French stint when Montpellier beat champions Toulon 16-12 in the Top 14, before losing 20-13 at Oyonnax last weekend. They are currently eighth on the log after 16 rounds, with the top six qualifying for the play-offs.

While there's been speculation that White, who has made no secret of the fact that he would like to return to Test rugby, has put himself into a position to coach France after the World Cup, he says he would like to spend more time with Montpellier.

'The way I see it, if they extend my stay beyond six months, is that I'll have a two-year opportunity to build something here, time to learn French and also time to experience a different lifestyle,' White told The Times

'We have goals here and after the World Cup we are going to try and bring some of the best players in the world to Montpellier to add to an already strong core group that is here. There will be many players on the market when the tournament is over and our ambition here is to try and head hunt some of the best.'

After leaving the Brumbies with two years remaining on his contract and the Sharks after just one season, White has been accused of being a mercenary. However, he dismisses those claims.

'I'm a rugby coach, that's my job, so I don't really worry about what people are saying about my decision to come here. I coach and this is a good opportunity to coach a club with ambition.'

Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP Photo

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Simon Borchardt