Jake White must really be smaaking his biere lately.
Turn back the clock 12-13 years ago and he wasn’t too keen on a cold one, especially not if Luke Watson was fetching.
Back then Watson was knocking hard at the door of White’s Springbok rugby team.
The Newlands darling was an yster at the breakdown and leading Western Province and the Stormers with some inspirational performances at the side of the scrum.
But White’s bussie to Paris was vol – his forwards unit packed with ball carriers.
And in the end, White was vindicated in his decision to leave Watson out, as Juan Smith, Danie Rossouw and Pierre Spies helped bag a second Bok World Cup title.
But what a difference a decade or so makes.
Old Jake has finally come around to the idea of a rugby scavenger like Watson.
See back then, White famously waved away talk of Watson’s possible inclusion by saying: “If I needed a fetcher, I’d ask one of my sons to get me a beer.”
And isn’t it strange now that Jake is about to win the Super Rugby Unlocked with no small contribution from a “fetcher”.
His go-to guy at the Bulls this season has been Marco van Staden.
The 25-year-old is showing Bok form – with the obvious backing of White – with his all-action play around the breakdown, sniffing out steals like smelly ou snoek.
The Bulle can even take the title this weekend with a bonus-point win. And I’m sure the beers will taste even sweeter after that, ne Jake?