Saracens to drop Venter as Director of Rugby

Saracens have announced that Brendan Venter’s role within the club will change from Director of Rugby to Technical Director with effect from January 9, 2011.

Mark McCall, first team coach, will become Director of Rugby and Andy Farrell will become first team coach.

Chairman Nigel Wray said: “Brendan, Anneme and their children are returning to South Africa in January for family reasons and, as a club very much based on family values, we respect their decision and wish them well. “


“Mark and Andy will take over the day-to-day running of the team, but Brendan will remain an integral part of the club, as Technical Director, making frequent visits to north London.

“The direction, stability and continuity of the club are unaffected, and we will continue our collective quest to be successful on and off the field, striving to win championships in England and Europe, working hard for our players and staff, their families, our supporters and the broader community.

“We would like to thank Brendan for his outstanding contribution through the past two seasons, establishing a culture of honesty, discipline and work ethic that is now enshrined within the DNA of our club, and we look forward to his continuing involvement in the months and years to come.

“Equally, we are delighted to appoint Mark McCall as Director of Rugby.


“He has played a crucial role in our recent success and, with his high-level experience at Ulster and Castres, is ideally equipped to maintain this progress.


“He will lead an outstanding group of coaches, including Andy Farrell, Paul Gustard, Alex Sanderson and Dan Vickers, and Scott Murphy as High Performance Director.”


Venter is a qualified doctor but his career has been tarnished by a series of disciplinary issues at Saracens.


He was handed a suspended four-week match-day ban by the Rugby Football Union after criticising a referee in a defeat by Leicester in January this year.


Then he received a 14-week ban which was later reduced to 10 weeks, for “making provocative and inappropriate gestures” during another match with Leicester on 8 May.


And in November he was hit with a GBP 21,850 fine, GBP13,100 of which is suspended until June 2012, after being found guilty of misconduct by European Rugby Cup.

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