Italy: Venter still ours until 2019

Brendan Venter (Gallo)
Brendan Venter (Gallo)

Cape Town - The unmistakable sense of optimism that has come with Brendan Venter's arrival at the Springboks will be short-lived. 

In fact, when the Boks meet Italy in Rome on November 25 this year, Venter will once again be in the Italians' coaching booth plotting the demise of the men in green and gold. 

Venter was on Sunday unveiled as South Africa's new defence and exits coach in a consulting capacity, and he has been a part of a three-day Springbok training camp in Stellenbosch that ended on Tuesday. 

At a press briefing on Monday, Coetzee was vague on the nature of Venter's appointment, but did offer that the 1995 World Cup winner would "not miss a training session". 

Now, the time-frame of that commitment has become clearer.

Venter is contracted to Italy until the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan. He started working with the Italians ahead of their November internationals last year and was considered instrumental in orchestrating one of the country's most memorable wins of all time when they beat the Boks 20-18 in Florence on November 19.

"Brendan is not a full time coach and it was already agreed he wasn't going to attend Italy's summer tour before the SARU announcement was made," Italian rugby's media officer Andre Cimbrico confirmed to Sport24 via email on Tuesday.

"He will be back working for FIR (Italian Rugby) ahead of November's internationals until the end of his stint, in November 2019 when the RWC ends." 

Italy play against Scotland, Fiji and Australia in June, but Venter will be with the Boks over that period. 

Sport24 understands that Venter's involvement with the Boks will be re-assessed after the June internationals against France.

He could, potentially, be involved in South Africa's Rugby Championship campaign from August 19 through to October 7 without any conflicts of interest with Italy. 

Rassie Erasmus, meanwhile, has been heavily linked to a return to South Africa and a role in the national set-up, though nothing has been confirmed on that front. 

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