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Springboks' coach resigns

Jake White does not intend to continue to coach the Springboks, the South African rugby team.

White said the match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Dec. 1 will be his last in charge.

South Africa defeated England 15-6 in the final in France on Oct. 20 for its second World Cup title, having also won at home in 1995.

White's announcement was expected after it had emerged he was not being considered for the post once his contract expired Dec. 31.

The South African Rugby Union said Monday that White had not reapplied for his job and was therefore not on the shortlist of four candidates for the post. This was despite reports of a clause in his contract that said it would be reviewed after it expired.

White said he had wanted "time to reflect" to make a decision over his future and to let the emotion of the World Cup triumph subside.

"Sure it's difficult to walk away, and I feel really disappointed at the way they (SA Rugby) have treated me going about announcing the shortlist when I was told I did not need to reapply," White told the South African Press Association.

"People from all over the world are phoning me and asking whether I would consider jobs in Australia, England, Wales and so forth. But then why not SA Rugby?"

White did not reveal his plans, but said he was interested in coaching overseas. He has been linked with the coaching vacancies at Australia and Wales, and even England if Brian Ashton is not retained.

The media has named former South Africa winger Chester Williams, assistant Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, national under-21 team coach Pieter de Villiers and Bulls boss Heyneke Meyer as possible replacements for White.

Rugby, a sport once synonymous with apartheid, is highly politicized in South Africa. The government is keen to see more black players and administrators, and the new national coach is expected to be black.

White faced pre-World Cup threats that the government would force quotas on him if he didn't use more black players. But he persisted with his selection-on-merit rule.

White said he could walk away from the job satisfied with his achievements.

"When is the right time to walk way? This year? Next year, or in four years time?" White asked. "Unfortunately, it was not my decision ultimately and I wish my successor the very best."

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