Venter back on Boks’ radar

SA Rugby is looking to appoint Brendan Venter as defence coach of the Springboks.

According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, SA Rugby is set to make three changes to the Boks’ coaching staff, but it doesn’t include a change in head coach.

Venter will in all likelihood come in as defence coach, Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith will be added as backline coach and Konrad van Hagen looks primed to take over as team doctor.

Venter has already stipulated a set of conditions before he commits himself to the national team and will withdraw from Italy’s coaching staff if SA Rugby agrees to his terms, according to Rapport.

The call on Dr Van Hagen to join the Boks’ ranks comes after current team doctor Jerome Mampane mistreated players before the Test against Argentina in Salta last year, which led to low concentration levels within the team.

Reports suggest Mampane is also being held accountable for his controversial handling of Francois Louw and Francois Hougaard’s respective injuries while on tour, which didn’t sit well with the players' overseas clubs.

Mampane and Mzwandile Stick (backline coach) will meet with SA Rugby’s human resource department next week to get more clarity on their involvement with the Boks.

Meanwhile, coach Allister Coetzee has sent an urgent plea to SA Rugby’s executive committee requesting help in bringing Duane Vermeulen and Marcell Coetzee back to South Africa. The coach reasoned that both players are key to his revival plan for the Boks.

Vermeulen is playing as captain of Toulon in France, while Coetzee represents Ulster in Ireland.

Photo: Luigi Bennett/BackpagePix

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Mariette Adams