Sharks confirm: Brenden Venter WILL be Currie Cup coach

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 11 Jun 2013 at 16:46
Tagged with : , , ,

A press release from the Sharks has cleared up one of the major unknowns coming out of this afternoon’s press conference.

Newly-appointed Director of Rugby, Dr Brenden Venter, will act as the Sharks’ head coach during the upcoming Currie Cup campaign.

Titled “Welcoming John Smit“, the full media release follows.

Durban, 11 June 2013: Members of The Sharks Board of Directors held a media conference today at Growthpoint KINGS PARK to officially welcome John Smit to his imminent role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as well as to discuss the future of The Sharks.

John Smit, who officially takes over as CEO of The Sharks on the 1st July 2013, fielded questions from the media and when being asked about his new role, stated, “This is a very exciting job, Durban has been my home for a long time and The Sharks are the only provincial team I’ve played for in South Africa, so they are close to my heart. So if there is some way I can contribute positively, this job certainly is a platform for that.”

It was also announced that the contract of The Sharks current coach, John Plumtree, which ends in 2013, will not be renewed.

Brendan Venter, the current director of rugby at Saracens has been appointed as The Sharks Director of Rugby, effective 1st August 2013.

John Plumtree will remain as the head coach of The Sharks until the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament. Brenden Venter will coach the team starting from the Absa Currie Cup campaign.

Smit added, “We can only be thankful for what John has done for The Sharks over the years, he’s given a lot, had 10 campaigns behind his name, it was purely a decision to freshen up and create some change for the players too. It was a difficult decision, but one based on creating something fresh and new.”

He concluded by saying, “In terms of The Sharks future, what we will be doing is assessing where we are, whether we are par with the other teams, behind them or ahead of them, and then we’ll spend some time putting a strategy together so that we’re never on par or behind but always in front, and how we can sustain that year after year. That won’t just take one person – the CEO – but everyone that’s involved with and employed by The Sharks. Hopefully that will get us good results and a great future.”


  • Well done John and welcome Brendan 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.06.13 16:55:10 by SteelShark Reply
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  • I’m sure the Sharks can win the CC now.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.06.13 17:06:02 by David12246 Reply

  • @David12246 (Comment 2) : I’m not sure that’s the big picture.

    There’s still a lot of upheaval to come here. This camapaign will be about Venter finding his feet, getting to know the personalities, maybe even butting heads and chasing some people away if he can’t work with them.

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.06.13 17:08:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : wonder what keegan thinks of all of this

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.06.13 17:12:42 by Poisy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : All depends on if he keeps the rest of the coaching staff or will he be getting his own. If Brendan is the only change don’t expect to much of a change. I still think Stonehouse of the Pumas is the right man for the job as head coach, or atleast an assistant coach for super rugby.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.06.13 17:16:32 by JD Reply
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  • John Smit on Sharkbite re: Venter and Plumtree.

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.06.13 17:21:04 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : I’m going to move that to the main body of the article…

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.06.13 17:22:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • OOPS I didn’t embed that I just posted the link.

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.06.13 17:22:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : it’s cool… I managed to resize it.

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.06.13 17:23:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • Rassie to Coach

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.06.13 17:41:02 by BoerSeun Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : good question! There is absolutely no way he keeps the armband with all this change happening

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.06.13 17:58:20 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Deysel should get the captains armband for the CC.

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.06.13 18:19:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : My point being that the refreshed environment should inject some life back into the players. We have always had the players. I also don’t see the Sharks losing too many to the Boks this season.

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.06.13 18:21:48 by David12246 Reply

  • I’m very excited. I wish Plumtree all the best, but I think both he and the Sharks need a change. Venter is a top Rugby mind and I like that Barney is not afraid to make bills decisions.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.06.13 18:22:41 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : cool

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.06.13 18:26:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Unreal : 7pm news : Brian van Zyl states that he would not have let Plum go. If gave him his confidence for next 2 years. Puts on record that it was board’s decision and not his. What is he trying to do?

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.06.13 19:22:44 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @Gerhardt (Comment 16) : Thankfully it’s not his choice to begin with. With that attitude it’s no wonder the Sharks franchise allowed mediocrity to rule its corridors.

    Thankfully Smitty was willing to bite the bullet and make the hard announcement on van Zyl’s behalf, already showing his willingness to get his hands dirty and fix another man’s mess.

    (yeah yeah I know, I might be reading far too much into this, but I can dream can’t I :mrgreen: )

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.06.13 19:37:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Lol, 🙄 😀 see my prediction was not far off. Just jokingly posted that we will hear how the Sharks are odds favourite to win the S15 next year becaus….. they have the best CEO, the best DOR, the most boks, the greatest depth, and the most ex Cheetahs.

    I was 6 months out lol, it’s the reason why the Sharks will win the CC this YEAR!! 😯

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.06.13 19:39:10 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : keegan needs to take a sabbatical, he has fallen out of my favour. not a good capt at all

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.06.13 19:39:52 by Gerhardt Reply

  • Think Van Zyl is just covering his bases. He promised Plum an extension and now this.

    But a question asked and not answered yet……what is Straueli’s job? Wasn’t he DoR?

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.06.13 19:40:31 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • @Gerhardt (Comment 16) : Van Zyl needs to bounce asap. He clearly isn’t a team man and was at the centre of the Sharks’ lack of growth. How can he say that in public? I want him out asap….Clown!

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.06.13 19:42:32 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @JD (Comment 5) : My prediction is other people along with Venter will be considered for the Superugby position and if nothing better pops up, he would obviously take the roll.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.06.13 19:45:40 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 20) : nope Strauli was Commercial Manager. I think that position will also become DOR, so next one to go could well be him

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.06.13 19:50:55 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 21) : jip big yes vote on that. now he sits and earns a salary till jan 2014. wtf?

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.06.13 20:04:21 by Gerhardt Reply

  • Thanx Gerhardt…

    This spells a new era at the Sharks. Not just a mere change of coach. A lot of articles waiting to unfold. Interresting and exciting times indeed.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.06.13 20:08:02 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 18) : hey boet go lock up your Cheetahs we got another one!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.06.13 20:55:40 by JD Reply
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  • @Gerhardt (Comment 22) : realy hope they get Stonehouse this guy did wonders with the Pumas should get a chance at one of the super rugby teams.

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.06.13 20:59:01 by JD Reply
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  • New Sharks Coaching staff:
    Head Coach: Robbie Deans
    Assistant Coach: Eddie Jones
    Assistant Coach and Technical Advisor: Rassie Erasmus
    Foreword Coach: Jimmy Stonehouse
    Backline Coach: Tim Lane
    Scrum Coach: Balie Swart
    The above can be mixed and matched depending on how they feel that month 😉

    Welcome to the Real Sharks World

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.06.13 21:52:06 by BoerSeun Reply

  • @BoerSeun (Comment 28) : Why would Rassie take a demotion from his position as SARU High Performance Manager to become an assistant coach again?

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.06.13 22:08:11 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @JD (Comment 27) : I don’t know what the hype around Jimmy Stonehouse, he didn’t actually win anything with the pumas did he, if you know what went on at waterkloof while he were there you would not allow the guy anywhere near the sharks.

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.06.13 22:33:35 by BR Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 29) : how can a Job description as Saru high performance manager be a promotion to Sharks Coach where the Game happens. I saw Rassie last year Coaching some under 16’s as part of a Saru program. That’s where Ian Mac and there generation should add value now. Rassie is a competitor he makes no fun from a Game if there’s not a winning side. Venter is the same, my theory is that if Venter and Smit want Rassie and he sees he is going to lead a winning team, he will stop running coaching clinics and return to competitive sport. The other thing is Rassie want to be Bok Coach one day….so make your own call, I think it’s obvious where the challenge is for Rassie.

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.06.13 23:16:30 by BoerSeun Reply

  • @BR (Comment 30) : He is a technically astute coach who gets a lot out of players that he can work with BUT also very much in the Kamp Staaldraad mould from what I understand.

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.06.13 07:41:08 by steve Reply

  • Smittie was very anti-Staaldraad. So I think that he will keep Brendan in-line. Brendan will obviously just coach during the Currie Cup until a new head coach can be appointed.

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.06.13 08:03:16 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 33) : I was referring to the comment (30) posted about Jimmy Stonehouse.

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.06.13 08:07:06 by steve Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 14) : I’m sure that the board would have taken Smit’s view into account but I doubt that this was his decision. He was simply given the hatchet job to break the bad news to Plum.
    @KingRiaan (Comment 33) : Different subject but I’m not sure that anyone can actually keep Brendan Venter “in line”. He is a pretty strong willed individual with his own ideas. That said I’m sure that he and Barney have, based on the Saracens experience, established a good working relationship.

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.06.13 08:14:48 by steve Reply

  • @BoerSeun (Comment 28) : You might as well add Graeme Henry (Head Honcho), Clive Woodward (Chief Spindoctor) & Brian O’Driscoll (Captain) if you going for the Dream Team.

    Don’t forget to call Alex Ferguson to see if he wants some sort or role…

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.06.13 08:16:17 by Gazman Reply

  • @steve (Comment 35) : What I am trying to convey is that Smittie will make sure that the players don’t get miss-treated by Venter.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.06.13 08:20:29 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Gerhardt (Comment 16) : Its obvious that Smittie is playing bull in a a china shop. Van Zyl was clearly not amused, and understandably so, after all he had offered Plum an extension which had been overturned by his successor. Van Zyl obviously feels bad about the whole way it was done and was wanting the world to know it. He is obviously loyal to pLum and does not like what happened.

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.06.13 08:40:16 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 30) : Theres no doubt that Stonehouse is a good coach and gets a lot out of his players but to expect him to suddenly become the head coach of a major union is asking a lot.

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.06.13 08:54:22 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 39) : Agree. Stonehouse isn’t the answer. Get someone with a track record at this (SR)or a higher level.

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.06.13 09:11:35 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @steve (Comment 32) : Maybe, but he has a suspicious past and I really don’t want him near the sharks.

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.06.13 09:17:08 by BR Reply
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  • If not Stonehouse, then get PdV. I don’t think it’s too far fetched for John to do this, of all people he will have the best idea of what PdV has to offer (- or can’t offer) the Sharks.

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.06.13 09:27:58 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @steve (Comment 35) :
    No, apparently van Zyl had the board’s backing for a 2 year renewal for Plum until John’s timely intervention. He was at pains to point that of.

    @BR (Comment 41) :
    100% with you on this. The hype machine needs to cool down a bit too.

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.06.13 09:34:46 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @JD (Comment 26) : Lol, I think you got three youngsters too. Two props and a very promising loosie. Ah well, I guess we can’t hog all the talent.

    With Coenie, and Nyakane likely to be there for a while, the young props have to go somewher. Just don’t know if Sharks was a good call. With Herbs, Dell, and van Dyk in the pipeline already.

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.06.13 09:48:34 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @steve (Comment 35) : I dont understand how JS can even be involved with this decision. Welcoming him at the union during a press conference is one thing. To expect him to announce such an important decision without being in the post that he omnly fills on 1 July is very weird and almost illegal. I think old man van Zyl refused to make the announcement and perhaps this was forced on JS. The entire NM disclosure and Plum reading bout this in paper is a debacle that can only happen to an organisation that does not actively emply a PRO. If there is one in place he/she should be brought to book

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.06.13 10:21:40 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 38) : they should not have afforded him the mic then. it is obvious there is no PRO function being performed here. everyone does their own thing. That’s the next best thing John could do is to appoint a good respectable PRO through which all media releases are done to avoid the NM debacle and embarrassment.

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.06.13 10:25:51 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @Gerhardt (Comment 46) : you sound like you’re angling for a job there, mate…

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.06.13 10:29:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • lol, never thought about it like that. What major organisation can do without one, ain’t it strange?

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.06.13 10:51:49 by Gerhardt Reply

  • @Gerhardt (Comment 45) : I have been wondering how Smit can even fire somebody when he is not even in the employ of the union yet. Strange.

    At his news conference Jon said
    “So it was an unnecessary way for Plum to hear the news in the media, but I suppose that’s the game we’re in.”

    I wonder how necessary it was to hear the news from someone that was not yet in an official position yet. Its weird.

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.06.13 10:58:52 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Gerhardt (Comment 46) : How can they not afford the boss, that is clearly not willing to be a figurehead, the mic. He is clearly not a happy camper.

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.06.13 11:00:34 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 43) : Interesting – It seems, given what has transpired, that Van Zyl had lost the confidence of McKenzie, Saad and Rosenberg et al.

    Formal confirmations of decisions that had clearly been discussed behind the scenes but not communicated with the affected individuals have all been announced in reaction to media leaks which is hardly the ideal way of handling it.
    Any leaks about Strauli yet?

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.06.13 12:48:14 by steve Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 44) : Maybe going to do like what they did with Schonert, just feed them till they’re nice and big and then let them go. 😈

  • Comment 52, posted at 12.06.13 17:05:03 by JD Reply
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  • Welcome JS & BV and thank you John Plumtree.

  • Comment 53, posted at 12.06.13 20:34:04 by sharkingmad Reply


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