If there's anyone still out there wanting to pitch in and help the Wallabies turn things around in time for next year's World Cup, they've now been put on notice that the best thing they can do is keep their mouth shut.

Former South African World Cup winning coach Jake White has just found out the hard way that when it comes to the contentious of issue of who should be coaching the underperforming Australians, the old idiom of 'loose lips sinks ships' still applies.

Rugby Australia had secretly agreed to a telephone hook-up with White after he contacted them asking for an audience, but once details of the planned conference call were leaked to News Corp, RA boss Raelene Castle promptly cancelled the call.

The call was to have taken place on Thursday night but was aborted at short notice once word got out that the board was speaking to another coach following their insistence that Cheika's job was not on the line.


RA has repeatedly said that Cheika would remain as head coach through to next year's World Cup in Japan despite the team's poor on-field performances and calls for him to be sacked.

Speculation about Cheika's future has only intensified after the Wallabies were hammered by England last weekend to end the season with nine losses in 13 Tests so news of the confidential hook-up with White was seen as the first sign that the board was having second thoughts.

The board has already begun a review into the 2018 season and plans to meet on December 10, though it is widely expected that Cheika will keep his job, primarily because there's less than 10 months before the World Cup and RA just doesn't have any spare cash lying around to pay him out and hire a short term replacement.

White's name has been in the mix for a while because he is a proven performer, having led the Springboks to victory in the 2007 World Cup in France, and he also has a long and close association with Australia.

He hired Eddie Jones as one of his assistants in 2007 and coached the Brumbies in 2012 and 2013, leading the team to the final in 2013.

The South African applied for the Wallabies coaching job when Robbie Deans quit in 2013 but lost out to Ewen McKenzie so he asked for a release from the Brumbies and went back to South Africa.

The 54-year-old is currently coaching club rugby in Japan but would have been available for Australia had the Wallabies job come up and was believed to have a high-profile former Wallaby on his ticket too.