Venter to stay with Boks

Allister Coetzee says that Brendan Venter will remain with the Springboks as a defensive consultant. JON CARDINELLI in Johannesburg reports.

The Boks beat France 35-12 at Ellis Park on Saturday. The result marked South Africa’s third-straight win. Prior to that, Coetzee’s Boks lost eight out of 12.

The Boks have turned things around in 2017. They have made significant changes and improvements in key areas such as defence and have begun to reap the rewards.

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No one doubted Venter’s pedigree as a defence coach and rugby brain when he joined the Bok management team earlier this year. If there were any concerns, it was around the fact that Venter was – and still is – contracted to Italy until the 2019 World Cup.

The Bok defence improved significantly in the second Test, a game the hosts won to clinch the series. The Boks kept France tryless in the third and final match on Saturday.

After the game at Ellis Park, Coetzee commended all the coaches who were involved in planning for this series. When pushed for comment on Venter, the Bok coach said that the defence guru will be around for the Rugby Championship.

‘He will be staying on as a consultant,’ Coezee said. ‘Look, the defence is not perfect yet. There were a few missed tackles. That said, you can’t coach players to get back on their feet and chase with intensity.

‘I’m really glad that we had the opportunity to spend some time together before the series and plan accordingly. We’ve also had the chance to get a strong team culture going, and it has made the difference.’

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Coetzee said that he was pleased with the overall standard of performance in this series, and what it could mean for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

‘It was great to see how we have turned things around. We’ve learned a lot since last year. There’s a lot of belief in the side now.

‘While Super Rugby is on the go, we will plan ahead. It would be great to see a South African side going on to win the final and then we can go into the Rugby Championship with a lot of confidence.’

Meanwhile, Bok captain Warren Whiteley, who pulled out of the third Test with a groin injury, will be assessed by the Lions' medical team on Monday.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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