Former Springbok coach and current Bulls director rugby, Jake White, has opened up about his personal battle with Covid-19 and the friends he lost to the virus.
Speaking at the Bulls squad announcement on Monday, White admitted he was among those within the team set-up who were infected during the Covid-19 outbreak at Loftus Versfeld three weeks ago.
VIRUS CERTAINLY STRUCK ME DOWN – JAKE WHITE
‘The virus certainly struck me down,’ White said.
‘I was definitely in bed for a few days and gained a lot of perspective again on life in general.’
During his recovery in isolation, White also received the news that two close friends – HTS Drostdy principal Arthur Underday and Arthob Petersen, who was the Springboks’ team manager during White’s tenure as head coach – had both died due to Covid-19-related illnesses.
‘I lost friends during this period. Not that we underestimated this pandemic, but I realised again that this virus is serious.
‘That’s what I mean with getting some perspective during my off-time. I just realised again that we’re also so lucky and privileged to do what we enjoy. I’ve really tried to return to the team with the renewed objective of having fun.’
Despite the challenges of the past few weeks, White says he is ready and excited for what lies ahead for him and his team.
WHITE: I’M HEALTHY, PSYCHED AND RECHARGED
‘I’ve returned and I want to show everyone that I’m healthy, psyched and recharged.
‘There are about 20 days left of this Currie Cup campaign and we have the opportunity to play at Loftus on three occasions during that period. I’m hoping my energy can inspire everyone around me.’
Meanwhile, the Bulls will next be in action on Wednesday, 6 January when they host the Lions in their penultimate Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld.
Kick-off is at 16:00.
The Bulls are top of the Currie Cup log despite having played one fewer match than all the other title contenders.
Victory for the Bulls will go a long way to securing top spot in the final standings and a home semi-final – and possible home final.
The Bulls to play the Pumas in Nelspruit in their final match on Sunday, 10 January.
While they have already qualified for the playoffs, for the Lions victory is essential should they wish to have any hope of hosting a home semi-final.
Bulls extended match-day squad to play Lions:
Lizo Gqoboka, Schalk Erasmus, Trevor Nyakane, Jan Uys, Ruan Nortje, Marco van Staden, Elrigh Louw, Duane Vermeulen, Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Stravino Jacobs, Cornal Hendricks, Marnus Potgieter, Jay-Ceel Nel, David Kriel, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen, Marcel van der Merwe, Walt Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Tim Agaba, Ivan van Zyl, Morne Steyn, Keagan Johannes, David Kellerman, Jade Stighling, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Joe van Zyl