Aviva Premiership
Venter to hand over Sarries reins
ESPNscrum Staff
November 30, 2010
Saracens boss Brendan Venter encourages his side, Saracens v Sale, Aviva Premiership, Vicarage Road, England, September 12, 2010
Brendan Venter will leave London in January © Getty Images

Saracens boss Brendan Venter will return to South Africa in January for family reasons, ending his tenure as the ambitious club's director of rugby.

The former Springbok will remain at Saracens in the capacity of technical director but has handed the leadership reins to first team coach Mark McCall. League legend Andy Farrell has been called upon to fill the void left by McCall's promotion.

Venter joined Sarries prior to the start of the 2009-10 season and while he has at times found himself in dispute with the game's administrators his time at the helm has seen the previously underachieving club become Premiership title contenders.

McCall will take control on January 9, with the club currently fifth in the table.

"Brendan, Anneme and their children are returning to South Africa in January for family reasons and, as a club very much based on family values, we respect their decision and wish them well," chairman Nigel Wray said. "Mark and Andy will take over the day-to-day running of the team, but Brendan will remain an integral part of the club, as technical director, making frequent visits to north London.

"The direction, stability and continuity of the club are unaffected, and we will continue our collective quest to be successful on and off the field, striving to win championships in England and Europe.

"We would like to thank Brendan for his outstanding contribution through the past two seasons, establishing a culture of honesty, discipline and work ethic that is now enshrined within the DNA of our club, and we look forward to his continuing involvement in the months and years to come."

Meanwhile, Sarries have received bad news on the injury front as centre Kameli Ratuvou has been ruled out for between four and six months after suffering a knee injury in last weekend's defeat to Gloucester. The Fijian international will undergo surgery on Wednesday, while Alex Goode is facing a further four weeks on the sidelines with a torn quad muscle.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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