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Monday, April 25, 2011

White firms as Brumbies' new coach

On his way? ... Jake White in 2007. On his way? ... Jake White in 2007. Photo: Getty Images
THE Brumbies intend to appoint their 2012 coach this week, most likely former World Cup-winning South African coach Jake White, but there are growing concerns Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom may not wear the club's colours again.
Since Andy Friend was sacked after round two, the Brumbies have won just a single match in six starts under Tony Rea.
White displayed a great ability to turn around a team's fortunes when he took the Springboks from 2003 World Cup flops to the 2004 Tri Nations title, and then finished his four-year reign with the 2007 World Cup crown.
''We're now at the end of the process and hope to have an announcement at the end of the week,'' Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said. ''We had a really particular brief for the sort of coach we were after and that's why we took our time to nail it down to a few contenders.''
The 10th-placed Brumbies are in Cape Town preparing for the weekend's clash with the struggling Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Elsom was due to make his long-awaited first start of the year on the two-match South African trip but was scratched after his chronic hamstring problem caused him more grief following a training session last Wednesday.
Elsom's comeback date is clouded, which also puts his Test captaincy in doubt. The 64-Test breakaway has been on a graduated rehabilitation program since the start of the year after opting against surgery.
Fagan, who remained confident Elsom would return to Super Rugby this season, denied that it would have been better for him to go under the knife. ''We've had medical advice and it's not a surgery-versus-rehab issue,'' he said. ''It's a difficult injury and it's only when you push it a little bit further in training or with more intense rehab that you know if it will take or not.''
Elsom comes off contract at the end of the season and is in negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union over his future.

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