KSA Shark ©

Why Venter is eyeing SA talent


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 2 Mar 2009 at 07:03
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The ‘winning mentality’ that South African players have is what will turn English Premiership club Saracens around.

Rugby 365 reports that this is the view of new Saracens Director of Rugby Brendan Venter, who has broken his silence over the row that has erupted over his decision to try and lure a host of frontline players from his native country to England.

While he denied the “poaching” claims levelled against him, Venter admitted that he wants to “create a rugby home for South Africans” at Sarries.

Venter told the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag that he didn’t want to get into a mudfight over players in the media.

The former Springbok centre was accused of poaching players, after it was reported that he was to release up to 15 English and other players from the club and replace them with South Africans.

“I only took the work, as Director of Rugby, because I see it as a challenge to create a team that will be supported by South Africans abroad,” Venter told the newspaper.

“There is so much young South African rugby talent in England at the moment and I believe we can create a team which they can identify with and I hope to make Saracens that team,” Venter told Sondag.

Venter wouldn’t elaborate about Saracens problems, but said the team needs a winning mentality right now.

“To do well you need a winning mentality and I think South Africans have that mentality,” Venter said, adding: “It wont be right for me to say what is wrong at Saracens. They are currently eighth in the league and have no trophies in their cabinet. I first want to get there and make my own decisions on which way to go.”

Venter also ruled out any South Africans getting preferential treatment at the club.

“Each player will be chosen on his talents and not because he is a South African,” Venter added.

According to the newspaper, Springboks Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers and Schalk Brits have been approached.

De Villiers and Burger turned down the advances.

Other players to have been approached include Lions hooker Ethienne Reynecke and lock Anton van Zyl as well as Lions captain Ernst Joubert.

Sharks player Frik Venter has apparently already accepted an offer to turn out for the club.



7 Comments

  • According to the newspaper, Springboks Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers and Schalk Brits have been approached.

    De Villiers and Burger turned down the advances.

    Other players to have been approached include Lions hooker Ethienne Reynecke and lock Anton van Zyl as well as Lions captain Ernst Joubert.

    Sharks player Frik Venter has apparently already accepted an offer to turn out for the club.

    No mention of Brits turning down the offer? I wonder if they will ask jake White to pay for his ticket? :razz:

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.03.09 07:22:07 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Brits can go for all I care.

    He is useless playing as a hooker!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.03.09 08:00:23 by wpw Reply
    Administrator
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • Frik Venter…hmm. Not sure i know him.

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.03.09 08:34:55 by billy Reply

    billyVodacom Cup player
     
  • @billy (Comment 3) :

    I’ve heard the name and somehow recall Rob mentioning that the guy is now BACK in Dbn as if he’d been there before.

    Let me go search and see what I find.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.03.09 08:49:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @billy (Comment 3) :

    Okay he was on the bench for the Sharks XV this weekend.

    Also go have a look at
    http://www.sharksworld.co.za/2009/01/20/smit-to-lead-witbank-raid

    Comment 24 onwards.

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.03.09 08:56:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • What is wrong with this picture?
    Mon, 02 Mar 2009 09:21

    Rugby365 editor Jan de Koning takes a look behind the scenes of the decision to replace Eddie Jones, an Australian, with Brendan Venter, a South African, as the Saracens Director of Rugby. He highlights a few interesting facts about the deal.

    Picture this – you take an English club, steeped in tradition and established in 1876, and turn it into a home for South Africans.

    Now why would you do that? Why would you tell South Africans that Vicarage Road Stadium, in Watford, could be a home to them?

    That is exactly what Springbok centre of the 1990s, Brendan Venter, has done.

    The new Saracens Director of Rugby, Venter – who is currently the Stormers’ defence coach – has gone public with his view that he wants to “create a rugby home for South Africans” in England.

    But there is more to this than meets the eye.

    You have to look behind the scenes to understand why there is this need for a ‘South African rugby home’ in the UK.

    The South African investment group SAIL, who has former Springbok captain Morne du Plessis as their Executive Director, have a 50 percent share in Premier Team Holdings – the owners of Saracens.

    Yes, you have read right. SAIL, a South African investment company with a former Bok captain on the board (not to mention the numerous other influential South African businessmen) actually own Saracens.

    Let us first take a step back.

    SAIL has a 50 percent share in the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd (yes, the professional arm of the rugby team at Loftus Versfeld), 24.9 percent in Western Province Rugby (Pty) Ltd and 24.9 percent in Griffons Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

    Those are their rugby investments in South Africa. I won’t bore you with their other sporting investments.

    What is relevant here is their rugby investments.

    Now move forward to Saracens – with Saracens Ltd listing its directors as Nigel Wray, Dominic Silvester, Chris Hughes, Kim Tan, Mark Sinderberry, Peter Wakeham, Steve Thomas, James Wyness Nick Leslau.

    But here’s the catch.

    Since SAIL have obtained shares in the UK based Premier Team Holdings, the South African company has made no secret of the fact that they would like to “expand as a business” in that area.

    On its own website the investment company said the following: “In line with our business strategy, to participate within the value chain of the sport industry, SAIL will continue its involvement in these sporting brands, through the active participation in the management of these brands.”

    Just read that last bit again: ‘…through the active participation in the management of these brands.’

    Yes, they are (or at least want to) run the club – Saracens.

    They have already replaced Eddie Jones, an Australian, with Brendan Venter, a South African, as Director of Rugby.

    They have now told 15 English and other players their contracts won’t be renewed and will replace those players with mainly South Africans.

    They make no secret of the fact that they want to expand their business interest into the English and European markets, since those are among the most lucrative sporting markets around.

    It makes business sense.

    But does it make rugby sense? I don’t think so. Just go look at the reaction of fans and you will see they may have bought themselves a club to participate in the rich European markets, but they may well have lost their fan base.

    Not even the Saffers in the UK are supporting the idea, just look at their reactions on the numerous internet outlets and you will quickly pick up the resentment towards this move.

    Empty stands do not make good business sense.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.03.09 11:21:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Frik is a journeyman of note. I wonder if he’s Brendan’s cousin…

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.03.09 11:37:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     

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