Brendan Venter confirmed as Sharks' new boss
June 11, 2013
Saracens' technical director Brendan Venter is expected to cut his ties with the Premiership club ahead of taking charge of the Sharks © Getty Images
Saracens' technical director Brendan Venter is set to leave the Premiership club to take charge of Super Rugby side The Sharks.
Venter has been confirmed as the first major appointment to be made by the Sharks' new chief executive and former South Africa captain and Saracens hooker John Smit. Venter, who is currently involved with the South Africa Under-20s side competing in the IRB Junior World Championship in France, will reportedly take up his new role in time for the start of this year's Currie Cup competition in August.
"I've seen first-hand what he can and does do, he's created something quite special at Saracens in terms of rugby environment and the environment off the field as well," Smit told Sapa. "It's something that appealed to me and the reason why I looked to get him here."
Venter, who earned 17 Test caps for the Springboks during his playing career and also featured in their 1995 Rugby World Cup triumph, previously served as director of rugby at Saracens but stepped down in 2011 to return home to South Africa. However, he continued to work with the club in the newly-created role of technical director and remained a familiar face at their Allianz Park home.
The 42-year-old Venter will replace current coach John Plumtree who has been informed that he will not be offered a new contract when his current deal expires at the end of the year. Kiwi Plumtree guided the team to two Currie Cup titles during his tenure but they have struggled this season and are currently third in the South African Super Rugby Conference.
"We can only be thankful for what he has done here over the years," said Smit. "I won my first and only Currie Cup with Plum as my coach, so he's given a lot to this team. So it was purely just a decision to freshen up, to create a bit of a change in terms of players' experiences as well. So it was a difficult decision to get rid of someone as good as him."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter