Brumbies moving on without White
ACT Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen has thrown his support behind assistant coaches Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher following Jake White's decision to leave the club.
White shocked Brumbies officials on Wednesday night when he quit the club with two years left to run on his contract and just two months after leading the club to the Super Rugby final.
The former Springboks coach was disappointed to have missed out on the Australia job to Ewen McKenzie and is also keen to spend more time in South Africa to be near his two sons.
It leaves the Brumbies looking for a new head coach, with Mowen backing White's assistants to step-up and fill the role.
It's understood Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan is keen to promote one of the duo as the head coach.
"I would think between Bernie (Larkham) and Laurie (Fisher) that there's more than enough experience and direction there," Mowen said ahead of the Wallabies' clash with South Africa in Cape Town this weekend.
"Those guys have been a huge driving factor in terms of on-field performance and take so much of the sessions.
"If it was to be in that direction that would reasonably seamless for the group."
Fagan said of White's decision: "I'd have to say that I was shocked when Jake called to tell me that he was intending to stay in South Africa.
"To have Jake decide that he wants to pursue his international coaching ambitions from South Africa at this late stage is disappointing. He has achieved a great deal for the Brumbies and we felt he certainly had more to offer.
"But I understand his reasons for seeking the release. He was obviously very disappointed in missing out on the Wallabies' job and he sees his best opportunity to further his international coaching career is from South Africa."
Mowen is confident the Brumbies can continue their strong form next season, even without the influence of White, who has turned the club around in his two seasons in charge.
"We have a really strong roster. In the two years Jake has had the team, it's gone from having three Wallabies to 15 or so it has now," Mowen said.
"He has done an enormous amount for those guys' careers. He has kept his promise there. He spoke about it at the start, how it was an amazing record that one in every two Brumbies plays for Australia.
"At that stage when you only have three in a squad of 30, you think 'that's going to be challenging', and then he achieves it. I thought that was outstanding.
"I guess there was always going to be a day where he would step aside and let that program continue on, we just assumed it was a lot further down the track than what it was."