Sydney – Jake White has offered to replace under-siege Michael Cheika as
Wallabies coach and was due to have a phone hook-up with Rugby Australia
is on Thursday, but it was canceled after the news of the call was leaked.
The South African, who steered the Springboks to the 2007 Rugby World Cup
title, approached the governing body after Australia won just four of
their 13 Tests this year.
Rugby Australia's chief executive Raelene Castle has repeatedly said
Cheika continues to have her back to take the team to the World Cup
in Japan next year, which is when his contract runs out.
But mounting pressure came to a head after their 37-18 defeat by
England last weekend, with calls intensifying for a change of guard. It
followed by a tryless loss to Wales and an uninspiring win over Italy.
The phone call was to evaluate White – a former Brumbies
coach – had to offer as a possible alternative, but it was hastily
called off after being leaked to the media.
"Jake White approached Rugby Australia and asked to have a
A RA spokesperson told AFP.
"Rugby Australia has decided not
to proceed with the call. "
White has previously expressed a desire to coach Australia after
being overlooked for the job in favor of Ewen McKenzie in 2013.
The Rugby Australia Board is due to meet on December 10 for a regular
end-of-season review of the future of Cheika, who is currently in
Europe, and his coaching team are expected to be discussed.
Several former Wallabies have called for changes in the Test set-up
after their worst year since 1995, including fullback Matt Burke who
said the team was no longer well-considered by their rivals.
"I think that factor is gone. We're down at (sixth) in the world, we started at No 3 at the beginning of the year," he said.