Venter won’t coach Italy against Boks

Date published: April 6 2017

Brendan Venter has assured South African rugby supporters that he will not coach Italy against South Africa when the two sides meet later this year.

Earlier this week the former Saracens coach was officially announced as the Springboks’ defence and exit consultant and was seen at Springboks training.

The coach is still contracted to Italy until the end of the 2019 World Cup which presents a conflict of interests for him as South Africa have a fixture against the Azzurri in November.

That means he will coach South Africa through the France series in June, potentially stay for the Rugby Championship and then join up with Italy for their three Tests in November.

Venter has since denied that there would be an issue.

"Lots of speculation regarding my appointment with the Springboks," Venter said on Twitter.

"One thing is for certain. I won't coach against the Boks again."

Venter gave further explanations on the matter in an interview with Netwerk24: "I will head back to South Africa for that week. I told the Italians that despite the victory last year, it was not a pleasurable experience coaching against the Boks. Italy completely understand it," Venter said.

The former Springbok centre assured that he wasn't getting involved in both sides for money reasons but that he was patriotic to South Africa and wanted to offer Allister Coetzee his help.

"I’m not going to talk to South Africa or Italy about each other. I was initially approached to help the Boks for the June series against France and agreed to do it. There were no talks about what could happen afterwards. It’s not something I do for the money, I’m helping because Allister (Coetzee, Bok coach) is a friend and because I’m patriotic."