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Jake White: Ben Mowen sought my advice

Ben Mowen quit Australian rugby and took a lucrative deal in France.

FILE: Jake White and Ben Mowen. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Jake White, the Sharks Director of Rugby, has told EWN Sport that Ben Mowen contacted him for advice prior to announcing that he would quit Australian rugby at the end of 2014.

Mowen, who under White became the Wallabies captain during their time together at the Brumbies, has decided to leave to take up a lucrative offer in France, citing family reasons for the move.

White says Mowen sought his advice on the matter.

"He phoned me and had a long chat to me about it. Obviously I was very honoured by the fact that he phoned me to ask what my opinion was. I didn't just tell him to get out or whatever."

"As a father figure, I had to chat to him about the things he was concerned about. In life everything happens for a reason. He's got a massive opportunity now to go to France and be with a big club."

White says Mowen will be hard to replace.

"It's a massive loss. He's a great leader and I think people saw that when he was Australian captain. He played a crucial role in their campaign during his captaincy and I think he got about a 75 percent win rate in games he captained."

White says Ewen McKenzie will likely appoint somebody that he knows well to replace Mowen.

"I think Genia and Horwill obviously because they have been captains as well. So who knows, maybe one of them might be selected again. There is more than enough guys capable of captaining Australia."