Ben White interview: How Rugby World Cup has proved perfect tonic after London Irish crisis

Ben White interview: How Rugby World Cup has proved perfect tonic after London Irish crisis

Ben White, more than most, has earned the right to live his Rugby World Cup in the moment.

The Scotland scrum-half has jumped from the maelstrom of London Irish’s administration to the vortex of the Rugby World Cup – via securing his club future with Toulon.

When White lost his job along with everyone at Irish just three months ago, the 25-year-old had to fret on his livelihood when he should have been free to focus on the World Cup.

Scotland’s pool of death battle stepped up another notch in light of Sunday’s 18-3 defeat by reigning champions South Africa, but White insists Gregor Townsend’s side can still reach the quarter-finals.

Scotland face a short break before taking on Tonga on September 24, with Romania and then the crunch Pool B clash with Ireland still to come.

The Scots blew two gilt-edged first-half chances that were wonderfully crafted before being overwhelmed by South Africa, leaving White encouraged by the attacking intent.

“It’s been a whirlwind six months, but I’m focused on moving forward,” White tells Standard Sport.

“Being here with this squad is something I’m incredibly proud of. And being signed for a club like Toulon is another fantastic opportunity for me.

“I’m just focused on living my rugby right now, and just being the best individual I can be.

“When something like that happens it puts into perspective how quickly it can be taken away from you. And I’m doing what I love, I’m proud of being here and am determined we make the absolute best of our chances. And I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play for Toulon as well.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

If Darcy Graham had shipped one more pass to Duhan Van Der Merwe, Scotland would have opened the try scoring at Stade Velodrome. And had Huw Jones held Finn Russell’s flat ball at the gainline, Scotland may have crossed there too.

Townsend’s men play with superlative attacking lines and ambition, but White admitted now they must hone the configuration.

“Against the top teams in the world you’ll get two or three chances and you have to be accurate enough to take them,” says White.

“We missed one or two chances and we probably couldn’t keep the possession we wanted in our game, which is what we pride ourselves on.

“We didn’t even play our best rugby and we were there or thereabouts in that first-half. We’ve definitely got a lot to improve, but we showed glimpses, and we have to take those opportunities moving forward.”