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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Visit to Cyprus of World Cup winning coach Jake White ]

Visit to Cyprus of World Cup winning coach Jake White

IF THE Cyprus Football Association brought Sir Alex Ferguson to the island you would get killed in the rush for tickets to meet him.

Last week, the Cyprus Rugby Federation welcomed to Paphos, Jake White, the coach of the World Cup winning South African Team and the rugby supporters were no less enthusiastic than their football colleagues.

The Rugby World Cup is an event that is the third most watched sporting competition in the world, attracting nearly three billion viewers and White is regarded as the best coach in the world, and for him to visit these shores was an outstanding triumph for the undefeated Cyprus national side.

The Cyprus Rugby Federation centered their event, a dinner dance, on the Aloe Hotel where hundreds of supporters rallied to meet White who gave the key-note speech and entertained the audience with anecdotes and reflections on rugby played at the highest level.

“I think your country represents all that is best in rugby,” he told the audience.

“It’s a small nation, that through the efforts of a dedicated group of players, that loved the game, has brought it to the island after years of playing in foreign countries, and established rugby in their home union.”

In his speech, the president of the Cyprus Federation, Loukis Pattihis, also took the opportunity to praise the national side.

“Whoever could imagine, that after only three years in the European Rugby Federation, we, the smallest country in our division, would emerge undefeated, challenging countries like Bulgaria, Israel, Finland and Greece,” he said.

He likened Cyprus’ success to that of White who took South Africa, “a despairing rugby nation, that had lost a whole series of international matches before his appointment”, to win the World Cup in 2007.

“Cyprus has never had a more victorious international side than us and perhaps one day they will recognise it,” he said.

White resigned at the height of his career, and now heads a company that specialises in training international coaches and corporations in aspects of leadership and motivation.

The evening then proceeded with Jake White entertaining the guests with his reflections on the World Cup and many anecdotes arising from his years as national coach.

He also donated a number of copies of his best selling autobiography which were raffled on the evening.

Cyprus International Rugby team are the divisional leaders in European Division 3D, and there are over 40 teams in the European leagues.

The Cyprus Federation was admitted in 2006 making them one of the most junior members, and draws on a pool of players from a population of less than 800,000, most of whom are totally unaware of the existence of their national team. With the advent of rugby being admitted to the Olympic Games and already present in the Commonwealth Games, rugby fans are hopeful attitudes may change.
 
 


(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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