Venter: Why it is Swys' time now

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:48

EXCLUSIVE: Jan de Koning chatted to Springbok defence coach Brendan Venter about rumours linking him to the Lions and who he thinks is the right man for the job.

Zacharia Francois de Bruin is the perfect fit to take South Africa's form team, the Lions, into the future.

This is the view of Venter, a defensive consultant - who helped the Boks to a 3-0 series whitewash over France in June.

Media reports last week suggested attack coach Swys de Bruin, one of the most celebrated members of the highly successful Lions coaching team, is heading to Cape Town - because he is no longer wanted in Johannesburg.

According to the report Cheetahs and Springbok attack coach Franco Smith has been earmarked to take over as Lions head coach from Johan Ackermann, who will head to English Premiership club Gloucester after the completion of the Super Rugby season.

Venter was also linked to a permanent position at Ellis Park.

However, both Venter and Smith has rubbished the reports.

Venter took it a step further and suggested the Lions should look no further that De Bruin to take over from Ackermann.

Venter, a private person that is normally not keen to talk to the media, told rugby365 that he would not have given his opinion, except that he was drawn into the debate by unnamed sources and felt he needed to voice his opinion.

He made it clear that his medical practice in the Strand - a seaside resort situated about 50 km southeast of Cape Town - remains his priority.

He has consultancy roles with the Boks, Italy and London Irish and no longer wishes to coach full-time.

He said the biggest "concern" for him is why somebody would spread such unfounded rumours.

"Nobody spoke to me and I have not approached anybody," Venter said.

"What was the motive of whomever distributed the rumour?" he asked.

"What frustrates me most is that it looks as if I want to help every team that comes up with a coaching vacancy. That is absolute nonsense.

"I have other priorities in life. I don't apply for jobs. I simply have too much on my plate at the moment."

He was forthright in his opinion of who, in his opinion, is the right fit for the position soon to be vacated by Ackermann.

"I have spoken to the Lions players," Venter told rugby365, adding: "They all rate Swys [de Bruin] very highly.

"[For the Lions] to not promote internally will be ludicrous.

"It is Swys' time now. He has come such a long way, that - as a fellow coach - you want him to have it [the opportunity to coach a Super Rugby team].

"He should not be involved in a conversation over whether Franco [Smith] or Brendan [Venter] will coach the Lions.

"My point of view is that it is his 'birthright', because he has come such a long way," Venter said of De Bruin's two stints at the Sharks, with a four-year period at Griquas sandwiched in between - before arriving at the Lions in 2013.

"From what the players said, he is playing a massive role in their success.

"As a fellow coach [I feel] it is the right thing to do.

"When I left Saracens, we promoted internally. The guy who was my second-in-command [Mark McCall] took over and is still the coach.

"That is the best way to do it.

"JP [Ferreira, defence] is already fantastic [in his job at the Lions], Jannie Putter [mental coach] is fantastic and their conditioning coach [Ivan van Rooyen] is a good bloke.

"You must allow him [de Bruin] to name his forwards coach - that is good practice."

By Jan de Koning

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