Venter returns to SA

Brendan Venter will step down from his Saracens director of rugby post and return to South Africa for family reasons.

The former Springbok has been part of the revival of the English club with a strong South African flavour, taking them all the way to the Premiership final last season.

He will still help the club in a technical director capacity, but will not be based in St Albans any longer. Mark McCall, who was the first-team coach, will be promoted to director of rugby.

In early November, Venter was fined €25 000 (approximately R230 000) of which €15 000 was suspended, for criticising the standard of refereeing following Saracens’ European Cup defeat by Leinster. He was subsequently prevented from talking to the media by Saracens’ top brass.