Vodacom Bulls director of rugby Jake White will be absent for the remainder of the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage, after he underwent successful emergency abdominal surgery on Sunday night.

The Pool A side are set to welcome Exeter Chiefs to Loftus Versfeld in Round 3 on Saturday following their United Rugby Championship (URC) win at Dragons RFC last Friday.

White fell ill soon after returning to Pretoria and was rushed to hospital, eventually requiring a two-hour operation.

Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone said: “It is never nice to see one of our own down, but we are extremely confident that Jake is receiving the best medical attention available, and our team of medical experts will provide him with all the necessary support he will need to make a full recovery.

“We would like to thank the hospital team, doctors and all those who rushed to offer their expertise and helped with attending to Jake.”

Vodacom Bulls have confirmed that White will take a break from his duties until February 8 and that “the coaching team will continue to share the responsibility of leading the team.”

After their clash with Exeter this weekend, Vodacom Bulls head to Lyon for their final pool stage game on January 20.