Over on The Roar the Brumbies Clyde Rathbone, who goes back with Jake over a decade, is holding forth on the Brumbies bombshell news of yesterday:
Jake understands the factors which underpin success in team sports as well as anyone.
He ensures that he surrounds himself with the very best personnel. He pays attention to standards and details and he always maintains the infectious conviction that his program will produce success.
He is usually right.
At the same time, I’ve come to know Jake as a highly strung, emotional and complex individual who can get bogged down and consumed by irrelevant issues and peripheral details.
For all Jake’s success, he appears unsatisfied, always chasing the next opportunity. And so it was when he applied for the Wallaby coaching position.
I know how disappointed Jake was at missing out on the Wallabies Job. I know he felt as though the politics that marred his time with the Springboks and which he believed he had escaped in Australia had burnt him once more.
With that said, failure to secure the Wallabies job is not an acceptable reason to resign from the Brumbies. It’s not even close to being an acceptable reason.
If Jake made his decision for family reasons, it’s an entirely different matter. No reasonable person would stand in the way of somebody with a desire to be closer to loved ones.
I hope that this is the sole reason for Jake’s decision. But if pining for home and family is Jake’s rationale for reallocation, why apply for the Wallaby coaching job?
It’s all rather perplexing.
The more I think about it the more I think the Brumbies need a coach who is utterly committed to it.
Stephen Larkham is untested, a real dice roll. But his heart and soul will forever be with ACT Rugby. So I reckon they have to take a chance.
(It should be noted Laurie Fisher bows to no one in his commitment to local rugby, but he has had a go already)