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White to rein in Brumbies

Jake White says Australian Super Rugby clubs must operate for the purpose of improving the Wallabies.

Jake White says Australian Super Rugby clubs must operate for the purpose of improving the Wallabies. Photo: Colleen Petch

ACT Brumbies coach Jake White is willing to put the Wallabies before Super Rugby ambitions if the ARU is prepared to make the ''tough calls'' required to lift Australia to the top of the world rankings.

The World Cup-winning mentor says the only way to ensure the Wallabies return to their best is for the Australian franchises to share the goal to improve the Test team.

With the Brumbies in their third week of pre-season training, White spoke to The Canberra Times about his desire to work with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, the Danny Buderus drama and the challenges his team faces next year.

White took over the Brumbies' coaching reins for the first time this year and led the team on a stunning rise up the ladder.

They led the Australian conference for all but two rounds and were destined for the finals until they stumbled in their last game against the Auckland Blues.

The Brumbies are refusing to settle on a surprise 2012 campaign and White says success next season is a must.



The Wallabies are in danger of tumbling down the international rankings if they lose to England on Sunday morning.

If they drop outside the top four, they could be faced with a horror draw at the 2015 World Cup.

Deans has called on the Australian Super Rugby coaches to work with him and rest Test stars during the domestic season to ensure they can perform at international level.

White is willing to make that sacrifice if Deans reciprocates.

Deans decided to take an injured David Pocock - the Brumbies' marquee recruit - on the spring tour of Europe and the star flanker suffered another injury while training this week.

''Every decision we make needs to be for the Wallabies to become the best in the world,'' White said.

''Selfishly, we all want to be king of the castle, but if you're honest you really want the union you're coaching in to be the best in the world.

''We have to find a way for the Wallabies to come first and make decisions … to make them No. 1.

''But if you're carrying an injured player on [a Wallabies tour], is that right for the Wallabies to be No. 1? They need to be true to their word.''



The Brumbies tried to recruit Newcastle Knights great Buderus as a consultant coach to help them be more aggressive in the tackle and contact areas.

It appeared a masterstroke before the NRL stepped in and refused to allow Buderus to take the job because he has a year left on his playing contract.

White remains keen to sign a consultant coach with a rugby league background to improve his players.

Former Canberra Raider Alan Tongue loomed as an option, but his role as an NRL ambassador ruled him out of contention.

White was amazed the NRL viewed his attempts to sign Buderus as an attack, not a compliment.

''To be fair, I was naive and assumed the boxes had been ticked, I was never aware the NRL would block it,'' he said.

''I can understand the sensitivities, but it wasn't my intention to harm anyone.

''I saw the glass half full, not half empty. The NRL saw it as half empty.

''It was a compliment to them, a guy like Danny could have helped us and I would have packaged it as a positive for everyone.

''It's just amazing they went the other way, but I'm still keen to get someone to help us in that area.''



White declared Pocock the biggest signing in Brumbies history with the flanker rated as the best in the world.

White believes a stint in Canberra can make the Wallabies' leader an even better player.

''Teams do two-thirds of their analysis on how to beat Pocock, that means teams will need to be 100 per cent right to beat us,'' he said.

''Part of the sell to David is that we want to make him better, we have to offer him something as well.''

Pocock injured his calf at Wallabies training and will miss the Test against England.

The Brumbies would have benefited had Pocock missed the tour to be 100 per cent fit for Super Rugby, but White doesn't hold a grudge against Deans for selecting his high-profile recruit.

''You have to pick your best side as many times as you can as a national coach,'' he said.

''Pocock is the best in the world, if you don't pick the best it cheapens the national jersey.

''The thing that concerns me is I hope it's not at the expense of an injury which will keep him out for a long time.''



The Brumbies exceeded all expectations last season to almost clinch a finals spot.

But White is determined not to rest on past performances.

Instead of being underdogs next year, the young Brumbies will be expected to rise to a new level.

''There's greater expectation, our draw is tougher because teams will take us seriously and we have to handle new pressure,'' White said.

''I'm hoping any pressure has a positive effect, I don't think there's anything wrong with pressure.

''But if we do what we did last year, we'll finish seventh or lower.

''People think you wave a wand and go from year one to year two with significant changes, we've learned how to crawl, we're starting to walk. But we can't run yet.

''We want to sprint by the fourth year, but we're not quite there yet.''



The Brumbies have retained the bulk of their squad and White believes the team is on the right ''path''.

''The squad is more talented, there's a lot more depth and I'm a lot more comfortable with the experience we've got,'' White said.

''I think to myself that we're definitely on the right path, but we'll never be where we want to be until we have achieved what we set out to do.''

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Tonga 2 1 1 0 7 6
Argentina 2 1 1 0 35 5
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Ireland 2 2 0 0 77 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 -17 4
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
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