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Venter warned over media conduct

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter has been warned by European Rugby Cup over his conduct in future media interviews.

Venter responded to the questions put to him during a television interview after Saturday's 24-21 Heineken Cup defeat to Racing Metro with a series of non-committal answers. The South African refused to offer any opinions during the minute-long exchange at Vicarage Road, often answering a question by merely repeating it.

An ERC statement read: "ERC would like to point out that it expects key representatives of clubs participating in its tournaments to engage with the media in a co-operative and respectful manner. It is therefore disappointed by Mr Venter's approach throughout the interview."

The statement continued: "ERC has asked Saracens to confirm that Mr Venter will not adopt the same approach, or one in anyway similar, when giving media interviews before or after Friday's Heineken Cup Pool 3 game between Racing Metro 92 and Saracens."

The interview has been interpreted as Venter's protest against a 25,000 euros fine imposed by ERC for being "inappropriately critical of ERC, the tournament, match officials and the sport of rugby union" following his team's Pool Two game against Leinster at Wembley in October.

Venter, who will leave his post at Saracens next month, incurred ERC's wrath for his comments to the media following that game with 15,000 euros of his fine suspended after he was found guilty of misconduct at a subsequent disciplinary hearing.

The suspended portion of Venter's fine runs until June 30, 2012, and would be payable only if he is found guilty of further acts of misconduct arising from ERC tournaments before that date.

Venter has been involved in a string of high-profile disputes with the rugby authorities and it has been suggested they contributed to his decision to return home next month.


From Belfast Telegraph