White succeeds in bringing back Brumby glory days
ACT Brumbies coach Jake White. Photo: Colleen Petch
If ACT Brumbies coach Jake White ever gets sick of coaching, he's got a ready-made career in marketing to fall back on.
The South African certainly knows how to generate interest.
When he arrived in Canberra, the Brumbies were on their knees after their worst ever season.
But he built a group of largely unheralded players into a team that almost broke a seven-year play-offs drought.
Now he's built a side that Canberrans can't help but get excited about.
It wasn't enough he produced one fairytale return of a Brumbies favourite son, now he's managed a second. If the cheers at Canberra Stadium in round one were anything to go by, every Brumbies fan was ecstatic at Clyde Rathbone's resurrection.
The mind boggles at what will happen if George Smith runs out against the NSW Waratahs in less than two weeks' time - it's just lucky there's no roof for the crowd to blow off out at Bruce.
Apart from narrowly missing last year's finals, White's only failure so far was not convincing Stephen Larkham to make a comeback last year.
The Brumbies mentor brought Rathbone back for round one and wanted 20,000 of the club's faithful to pack the stands in a return to the glory days.
Then he started sparring with Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie in the media in what almost felt like an orchestrated to-and-fro pre-arranged by the pair. Falling a few thousand short of the 20,000 he's now plucked Smith from his conjuror's sleeve and will no doubt hope it's a full house against the arch enemy - the Waratahs.
It leaves you wondering what he'll do next? Surely he can't top the return of one of the true greats of the game?
A drought-breaking berth in the play-offs followed by a successful tilt at the championship would certainly give it a shake.
White has always said he wanted to bring the glory days back, we just didn't realise he meant it so literally.