World Cup coach Jake White has been appointed director of rugby at Super Rugby side Sharks.

The 50-year-old, who led South Africa to the Webb Ellis cup back in 2007, will replace former Saracens head coach Brendon Ventor at the Natal-based franchise.

Sharks chief executive John Smit, who captained the Springboks to World Cup glory six years ago, told the clubs' official site: "We are immensely happy to confirm the appointment of Jake White as our new Director of Rugby.

"We formed a formidable relationship during my playing career and I am delighted to re-establish that partnership, which is in line with our vision to take The Sharks to the next level."

Smit also praised the outgoing Ventor, saying: "Brendan Venter’s commitment to me was to drastically change our players’ environment which we think he has done with extreme success."

The appointment comes as a bit of a surprise as White, who has spent the last two years coaching fellow Super Rugby side Brumbies left less than two weeks ago with two years still left on his contract.

The Johannasburg-born White was also heavily linked with the Australia head coach role, which was made vacant by Robbie Deans, who was sacked, but the job went to Ewen McKenzie

White led the Brumbies to the Super Rugby final last season, where they lost 27-22 to the Chiefs, but White said he wanted to move closer to home for family reasons.

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