London Irish appoint Brendan Venter as technical director
London Irish have announced that Brendan Venter will return to the club in a newly-created role of technical director.
And the Exiles also confirmed their former second-row forward Nick Kennedy's appointment as rugby director ahead of next season's Greene King IPA Championship campaign.
South African Venter, a member of the Springboks' 1995 World Cup-winning squad, is a former Irish player and coach, while he also played a prominent role in Saracens' ascent to English rugby's summit.
The 46-year-old will take up his post with immediate effect, heading a team that includes Kennedy, plus coaches Clark Laidlaw, George Skivington, Declan Danaher and Paul Hodgson.
Venter said: "The m ain reason why I decided on London Irish is because I have so many good memories and friends still at the club, which made for me a sound and easy decision to be part of the club going forward.
"The club has genuine ambition to compete in the (Aviva) Premiership and in Europe, and has the foundations in place to enable it to do so.
"I am looking forward to working with the players, coaches, board and management to realise the club's ambitions."
Reflecting on Venter's appointment, Irish chief executive Bob Casey added: " Not only is Brendan respected throughout the game for his expertise and experience, he has also been a steadfast friend of this club.
"We are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to return to lead us through what we know will be a testing season in the Championship.
"It is very encouraging that we've retained the talented Clark Laidlaw as an assistant coach, and are delighted that Declan Danaher, Paul Hodgson and George Skivington will help with the coaching of the senior team."
Irish were relegated from the Premiership last season, finishing seven points adrift at the basement.