World Cup-winning former Springbok coach has suggested that current mentor Peter de Villiers is 'hedging his bets' with the decision to leave 23 frontline players at home.
Like White four years ago, De Villiers has caused a stir by selecting mostly fringe players for South Africa's opening two Tri-Nations Tests - against the Wallabies in Sydney next Saturday (July 23) and the All Blacks in Wellington a week later.
It is similar to the tactics White followed in 2007, before going on to win the World Cup in France.
However, the big difference, according to White, is that unlike previous World Cup years, there are not much time between the end of the Tri-Nations and the World Cup.
In the past there were at least a couple of months between the completion of the Tri-Nations and the start of the global showpiece - allowing for teams to finalise their preparations - where as this year there are just two weeks.
"The World Cup and a Tri-Nations campaign are very different," White said.
"I think it's going to be an interesting Tri-Nations.
"The Wallabies are going to try and get their best group of players together as quickly as possible.
"They're going to try to get some Test matches under their belt, get some momentum going in to the World Cup.
"Whereas South Africa, if you look at the squad they've picked and the players' they're resting, are obviously doing it a different way.
"They want to hedge their bets and they're best players will be available for the last two weeks of their campaign and then the first game of the World Cup, which is a lot different to where Australia are."
The Springboks open their Cup campaign against Wales in Wellington on September 11 - just three weeks after hosting New Zealand in their final Tri-Nations Test in Port Elizabeth.
"A lot of things have to be taken into account," White said on Friday.
"This is a World up year, there's no friendlies beforehand and South Africa's got a massive Test first-up against Wales.
"They've got Samoa and Fiji, two really tough teams that we played in the last World up, so they probably feel that if they don't play their best team for the first two games of the Tri-Nations that they then therefore get two Tests to prepare for three tough games at the World Cup."
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