Venter facing misconduct charge
October 28, 2010
Brendan Venter is facing further disciplinary problems © Getty Images
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter is facing a misconduct charge over controversial comments made in the wake of his side's Heineken Cup loss to Leinster at Wembley.
Venter has been called up by ERC disciplinary officer Roger O'Connor after firing a warning to the IRB that the game would be 'killed stone dead' unless referees were made to respect recent changes at the breakdown.
"Before the Heineken Cup began, I asked if we would have a conference so all the officials from abroad were in tune as to the new interpretations of the laws," he said. "Instead, we got some European referees in the Premiership, but there is a real danger that if we don't take action going into a World Cup year, the game of rugby is going to die, be killed stone dead because the public won't come to watch.
"We will end up playing one type of rugby in the league, another in Europe and when you get to the World Cup, wait and see which referee you get. Last season we won 10 games in a row playing a kicking game, a horrible game to watch, but necessary because the breakdown regulations favoured defending teams. I may consider returning to that in Europe because there is no system in place to complain about these problems, and that makes it a flawed competition."
The complaint against Venter will be heard in Dublin on November 4. Last season he raised the ire of the RFU on several occasions and was banned from Saracens' Premiership final loss to Leicester after picking up a 10-week suspension for allegedly making provocative and inappropriate gestures and comments towards Leicester supporters at Welford Road.
Meanwhile, Christian Gajan, Bayonne's director of rugby, will also face a hearing after over comments made in the media following his side's Amlin Challenge Cup loss to Connacht. Bayonne's Top 14 rivals, Montpellier, have been accused of failing to nominate their strongest possible squad for this season's Challenge Cup after leaving several internationals out of their opening wins over Exeter and Newcastle.
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