Cape Town - Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter is worried about the skills levels of South African rugby players.
Venter was in Paarl this week where he watched the Under-13 Craven Week and Under-16 Grant Khomo Week schools rugby tournaments.
His son, Brendan Jnr, is a member of the Western Province Under-16 team.
Venter was not very happy to witness several handling errors on attack from the teams.
“The major problem is that our basic skills level on attack has definitely become a problem,” Venter told Netwerk24.
“Our (teams) are not playing from depth and it’s a very simple thing. A solution has to be found. Our tackling is extremely good and we can kick and chase, but it’s the attack that we need to look at.”
According to Venter, South Africa does not lack top level skills coaches.
“I think it’s the unhealthy obsession with winning to a level where players are afraid to shift the ball wide. Not enough attention is paid to it, because our players always have to be able to tackle and kick well.”
Venter, who was a member of South Africa’s World Cup-winning squad in 1995, recently announced that he would return to England to be the technical advisor at London Irish.
Commenting on his appointment, Venter told the club’s official website: “The main reason why I decided on London Irish is because I have so many good memories and friends still at the club which made for me a sound and easy decision to be part of the club going forward. The club has genuine ambition to compete in the Premiership and in Europe and has the foundations in place to enable it to do so. I’m looking forward to working with the players, coaches, Board and management to realise the club’s ambitions."
Venter, who ranks among the most experienced and respected coaching experts in the game, renews an association with the Exiles that began in 1998 when he first signed as a centre.
Making 84 appearances during two spells with the club, Venter played a key role with Conor O’Shea in leading London Irish to their first and only national trophy, the Powergen Cup in 2002.
Venter subsequently joined Saracens where he played a prominent part in laying the foundations for the club’s current success before returning to his medical practice and other rugby commitments.
He returns to London Irish to prepare the squad for the Greene King IPA Championship where they will be doing their utmost to ensure that the Exiles return to the Aviva Premiership at the first opportunity.