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Daily Archives: March 29, 2017

It’s showtime for Venter – Jake

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Now that the Six Nations is over, there are rumours that Brendan Venter will shortly be unveiled as a member of the Springbok management team, with one of his main tasks to handle the defence writes Jake White for AllOutRugby

I say we should back the man and I wish him all the best of luck!

Some people will disagree with his appointment. They’ll say he’s been floating around from consultancy to consultancy for years, and has never been anywhere long enough to really prove his credentials.

They’ll say he’s been fortunate to get the credit when the team he’s consulting with does well, and he’s escaped criticism when they don’t.

As an example, they’ll talk about how Brendan was very vocal when Italy beat South Africa in November, but absent from the media after taking 60 points against New Zealand and Ireland, and losing to Tonga.

They may highlight how he gets praised for Saracens’ success, but isn’t held responsible for London Irish’s relegation.

His critics will also raise concerns that Brendan intends taking on the Bok job in a part-time capacity, so that he can continue consulting to Italy while also running his medical practise.

There’s no way he’ll do that, surely? More than anyone, Brendan will know he has to give 100 percent to coaching South Africa and, more than anyone, he’ll know that integrity, honesty and loyalty are cornerstones of success.

There are two reasons he will have insisted on signing up for a full-time role. Firstly, New Zealand would never appoint a medical doctor as a coach on a part-time basis.

The Kiwis would make such a candidate take a sabbatical from being a doctor and commit to spending the next two years being full time with the All Blacks. And just about every quality coach would happily do that in order to be strong with the All Blacks.

It’s the same in most top national teams and that means that whoever Brendan is coaching against will be working around the clock to beat South Africa.

A part-time arrangement, where he runs his medical practise on the side or consults to another team, would be a 100-percent guarantee of failure for the Boks.

I’m sure he would be the first to admit that he’s got more to offer South Africa if he’s full time than part time.

And the other reason is that Brendan will know that the only way to prove his critics wrong is to fully commit so that there’s nowhere to hide for anybody looking for reasons why he’s not responsible for the results.

Good results is what count in South Africa.

With respect to Italy, the Springboks are not a team where people expect you to lose. In Italy, two wins in the Six Nations is seen as a great success.

South Africa is different and I would say that working odd jobs on the side would be a slap in the face for one of the top sides in the world.

I’m sure it would have been tough for a loyal guy like Brendan to turn his back on Italy, especially after defending their poor performances in the Six Nations by saying “we’re a young team and we will grow”.

Having committed to Italy until the 2019 World Cup, and then leaving after one campaign, wouldn’t have gone down well with the players.

But that proves how committed he is to the Boks and how much he believes in his ability to help them turn things around.

It’s showtime for Brendan and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. I think his critics should reserve judgement until after South Africa has played France, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and England.

Eddie – Get rid of Force and Rebels

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England head coach Eddie Jones thinks Australia should reduce their Super Rugby representation down to three teams in the near future.

The former Brumbies boss, who led the Canberra-based side from 1998 to 2001, thinks the Rebels and Force should be the pair cut loose.

“For me, Australian rugby was at its strongest when there were three Super Rugby teams – the Brumbies, the NSW Waratahs and [Queensland] Reds,” the 57-year-old revealed to Fairfax Media as rumours continue to circulate about which franchises will be axed from Super Rugby.

“There was enough opportunity for players and those three places have always been rugby cities.

“To think about cutting the Brumbies is so shortsighted. If the ARU are serious about it, they’re really missing the point.

“The problem has been the two expansion teams, the Rebels and the Force.

“Unfortunately both of those teams take all of their players from Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra because they’re not rugby strongholds.

“To think about axing the Brumbies … that would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

He added on how things were during his time in Canberra: “As the Brumbies became more successful, we were the biggest sporting team in Canberra.

“In my last season there, we were averaging [crowds of] 18,000 per home game.

“We changed the way rugby was played for a while. The Brumbies were the team that set a different style around the world, and to say you’re going to cut a team that’s had that much influence in rugby … it’s crazy.”

Jones was in agreement when asked if Super Rugby needed to make changes to its structure, saying increasing the number of teams hasn’t helped the competition.

“I think it’s lost its way,” he said.

“It’s become too diluted. The great thing about Super Rugby when it was ‘Super 12’ was that it was the best players against the best players and the quality was so high.

“Now because there are extra teams – Argentina, Japan, Australia has five and South Africa has six – it has diluted the standard of play.

“It has definitely affected rugby’s popularity. Back then anyone could beat anyone, but now there are too many games you know the result of before the kick-off.

“The introduction of the Force and the Rebels was designed to increase the depth of the Wallabies. You’d have to say that objective has been marginal in success.

“Yes, more players have had opportunities. But I don’t know whether it’s discovered more Wallabies.

“I believe Australian rugby should go back to three teams and if they want to keep Perth going, then set up the next level to keep developing players.”