Cape Town - Brendan Venter believes last week’s SA Rugby coaching indaba was a huge success.
Venter, a former Springbok centre, facilitated the indaba in Cape Town where couches and administrator got together to discuss ways of improving South African rugby.
Venter shared his thoughts on the indaba via a column on the Vodacom Rugby website.
“The indaba could not have gone any better. Prior to the meeting, there was criticism directed towards the first SA Rugby Indaba since 2005, with some suggesting that it was an exercise in public relations. However, having overseen proceedings, I can categorically state that that was not the case,” Venter wrote.
Venter was happy to see all those present had the same goals in mind.
“The most important elements to emanate from the indaba was the way in which the assembled role-players contributed and the openness to proceedings. A recurring theme was how ego-less the personnel in the room were. It was refreshing that all involved showed up with an attitude of: “What can I do for SA rugby instead of what can SA rugby do for me?” because that has not proved to be the case in the past. Furthermore, I was extremely impressed with how many good ideas came to the fore during the gathering, and all the contributions were fantastic because they were practical, technically-driven solutions aimed at addressing the shortcomings within SA rugby.”
Under Allister Coetzee's tutelage, the Springboks have lost five of their nine Tests in 2016, but Venter believes the Bok mentor can take a lot from the indaba as he attempts to turn around the national team’s fortunes.
“For the first time in living memory the national coach is in sync with the local Super Rugby coaches. If Coetzee can implement the learnings from the indaba, in my book, it would make his tenure as national coach an unbelievable success. The indaba is not a perfect process but an invaluable starting point where we listened to and learned from each other in equal measure. The relationships that were forged in the conference room were so positive and some real tangibles were forthcoming. As a result of the discussions, in the coming weeks a document will be produced in order to outline the culture that we feel SA rugby players must adhere to and the general attack and defence strategies, set-piece and territory options and discipline protocols to be followed. In essence, it’s a guideline to a blueprint."
The 46-year-old Venter played 17 Tests for the Springboks between 1994 and 1999. He has enjoyed successful coaching stints at Saracens in England and the Durban-based Sharks.
He is also the technical director of English club London Irish and will assist Italy as defence coach in the upcoming November internationals.
CLICK HERE to read Venter's full column on Vodacom Rugby