Venter didn’t revel in Bok defeat

Date published: November 21 2016

Brendan Venter says he didn't take any joy from helping Italy secure a historic victory over the Springboks.

Venter was asked months ago by Italy's coach Conor O'Shea to help with their defensive structures, something which paid dividends on Saturday as the hosts won 20-18.

"I felt the same pain as my children as the rest of South Africa," Venter told Netwerk24.

"The people involved with the Springboks are my friends and I myself also played for South Africa."

Venter admitted Bok coach Allister Coetzee wanted to get him involved as a defence consultant, but he was approached only two weeks before the Boks were to depart on their November tour. By that time Venter had already committed to helping Italy.

"To insinuate that I chose to help Italy rather that South Africa is absurd," Venter said.

"Conor asked me six months ago already if I could help him out. That gave me enough time to find someone to fill in for me at my medical practice. I also had to get permission from my partner who runs the practice with me. The medical practice is where my priorities are."

Coetzee knew Venter had agreed to help Italy by the time he was approached to lead SARU's coaching indaba last month. 

"I told Allister from the start that I agreed to help out a friend in Italy. You can't call a friend and say sorry, I have received a better invitation. I am a professional who plans ahead so that my medical practice don't suffer."

The Boks are backed at 17/10 to beat Wales, who are priced at 1/2, later this month.