Venter takes over at Shark Tank
Venter takes over at Shark TankSHARE
Former Saracens boss Brendan Venter will take up the position as Director of Rugby at the Sharks from the beginning of the Currie Cup season.
Since returning to South Africa from England Venter has acted as assistant to South African Under-20 coach Dawie Theron.
John Plumtree will leave his position at the end of the season after his contract was not renewed, new chief executive officer John Smit confirmed on Tuesday.
New Zealander Plumtree has been in charge of the Durban franchise since 2008, guiding the team to two Currie Cup titles and a Super Rugby final.
There was mounting speculation over his future at the weekend when reports emerged that former Springbok coach Nick Mallett had been approached to take over.
Plumtree will remain as Sharks coach until the conclusion of Super Rugby competition, with Venter stepping into the Director of Rugby role, and taking over the coaching role during the Currie Cup.
Smit admitted that the decision to replace Plumtree was a tough one, but he believes that it is in the best interests of Sharks rugby.
"This is the most difficult issue we have right now, and one that has taken a lot of time and effort to come to," Smit said.
"John's contract comes to an end at the end of this year, and I did let him know yesterday that we won't be renewing his contract onwards. I've spoken to Brendan Venter who will take over as Director of Rugby.
"We can only be thankful for what Plum has done for the Sharks over the years," he added. "I won my first and only Currie Cup with him as coach, the first Currie Cup we'd won in 12 years.
"He's given a lot of himself to this team, he's had 10 campaigns as head coach behind his name. It was purely a decision to freshen up and create some change for the players’ experiences as well," Smit explained.
The former Bok skipper said that having worked with Venter at Saracens he is confident that he is the man to take the Sharks forward.
"I've seen first-hand what he can and does do, he's created something quite special at Saracens in terms of rugby environment and the environment off the field as well. It's something that appealed to me and the reason why I looked to get him here," said Smit.