Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Departing Venter sees bright future

Brendan Venter

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter signed off from his post hoping that the club's focus on their academy structure will pay dividends in the future.

Sunday's 12-6 win over London Irish, which saw young fly-half Owen Farrell kick four penalties to move them up to second in the Aviva Premiership table, was the last game before Venter returns to South Africa with his family, but he will still be involved at the club as a technical director and plans to attend games regularly.

The former South Africa centre said: "The problem at Saracens was too much chopping and changing. We have a five-year plan in place, and it is ongoing."

He added: "I may no longer be rugby director, but I'll be in telephone contact regularly, and I will be flying back to England regularly to attend games.

"We have academy players pressing for each position in the team, so it's not about bringing in some big-name stars, it's now about the development of the team from within.

"As I expected of my former club, this was a tough game. Irish are a good side, very organised, and they never lose badly, it's always just by a few points.

"But if you look at our fly-half, Owen Farrell, he is going to be special, and that really excites me.

"We lost a top international fly-half when Derick Hougaard was injured out of the season, and along came a teenager of this quality, a very talented boy who is learning to be a Premiership fly-half."