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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 08:37 GMT
Gatland will boost Wales - White
Jake White
Jake White says Warren Gatland is the coach to take Wales forward
South Africa coach Jake White has backed Warren Gatland to turn round Wales' fortunes when he takes over.

White, whose World Cup champions play Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, will soon leave the Springbok job and had held discussions about taking over Wales.

But White, who has been linked with England, says Wales have the right man in Waikato and ex-Wasps coach Gatland.

"Sure Warren Gatland will do well; he was probably what the Welsh Rugby Union was looking for," White told BBC Wales.

White says the bedrock of Gatland's success is the defensive solidity he brings to the sides he coaches.

606: DEBATE

The Springbok says he does not expect this to change when Gatland, 44, start his new role in December and expects the New Zealander to follow in the footsteps of fellow Kiwis Graham Henry and Steve Hansen in improving Wales.

"Warren will change things, he's got a different approach defensively - the way Wasps and Waikato defend is similar but very different to other countries," White said.

"I'm sure he'll bring in the same defensive alignments and patterns he's been using very successfully.

"He's a New Zealander and you saw the impact Steve Hansen and Graham Henry made coaching in Wales."

Wales caretaker coach Nigel Davies will be in charge at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday before handing over the reins to Gatland next month.

Current Wasps head coach Shaun Edwards could join Gatland in the Wales set-up, although this could be a part-time role.

SEE ALSO
The tests facing Gatland
09 Nov 07 |  Welsh
White to bide time over next post
19 Nov 07 |  Rugby Union


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