Super Rugby
Saracens insist Venter is not leaving
ESPN Staff
June 12, 2013
Saracens boss Brendan Venter watches on, Saracens v Leinster, Heineken Cup, Wembley stadium, London, England, October 16, 2010
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 have dismissed reports technical director Brendan Venter is set to leave the club after being appointed as the director of rugby of Super Rugby side The Sharks.

Venter was unveiled as the first major appointment by the Sharks' new chief executive and former South Africa captain and Saracens hooker John Smit earlier this week. Venter, who is currently involved with the South Africa Under-20s side competing in the IRB Junior World Championship in France, will take up his new role in time for the start of this year's Currie Cup competition in August but Saracens insist he has no intention of cutting his ties with the Premiership club.

"Brendan Venter remains 100% committed to his responsibilities as Technical Director at Saracens," the club said in a statement.

"The former Springbok has agreed to assist the Sharks provincial squad in Durban, but his ongoing role at Saracens is unaffected. Communicating with the coaches on a regular basis and travelling to north London at least once per month, Venter will continue to play an important role within the running of the club."

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 and helped them to the Premiership title in 2011 before stepping down to return home to South Africa.

However, he continued to work with the club in the role of technical director and will remain a familiar face at their Allianz Park home with his on-going input valued highly by chief executive Edward Griffiths and current director of rugby Mark McCall.

"Brendan speaks to the coaches and to Mark once a week which keeps him involved but he's got that distance so he has a little bit of a helicopter view," Griffiths told the Hendon Times newspaper.

"The other part of his continuing role is Mark's attitude because most directors of rugby would be threatened by the previous director of rugby still being involved and having a view. But it works because of the strength of the relationship and because Mark sees him not as a threat but as an asset."

The Sharks have also conceded that Venter will have a dual role but moved to reassure fans of the Durban-based side that it would not significantly impact on his duties with their side. "Yes, Brendan Venter, the new Director of Rugby at the Sharks, will have a role at Saracens," a spokesperson told Rugby365. "However, that (Saracens role) won't be a time-consuming position and he (Venter) remains fully committed to his role with the Sharks."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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