Venter: SA teams' defence has gone backwards
Cape Town - Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter says South Africa’s defence has regressed because local Super Rugby franchises have placed greater emphasis on attack.
Venter, who played 17 Tests between 1994 and 1999, is currently on-board as Italy’s defence coach but he is widely tipped to become the next defence coach of Allister Coetzee’s Springboks.
Venter has kept a close eye on the opening round of this year’s Super Rugby competition and via a column for The Times has explained what’s lacking in the current South African game.
“South African teams have historically been resolute on defence. But with a considerable amount of time and energy invested in attack, particularly during pre-season, a ball-in-hand approach has become the order of the day,” Venter wrote.
“While our teams' attacking play has improved dramatically after five rounds of Super Rugby, all of a sudden our defence has gone backwards. The dilemma is that when you place too much emphasis on one facet of play, another department suffers as a result.”
SA Rugby recently confirmed Allister Coetzee’s stay as head coach, with Franco Smith also named as backline coach.
The national rugby governing body said a defence coach would be appointed in due course.
The Springboks’ first assignment in 2017 will be a three-Test series against France starting on June 10.