Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brendan Venter keen to face RFU disciplinary hearing

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter said that he was "looking forward" to his Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing, when he will face a charge of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game.

The charge relates to remarks made by Venter during a press conference after Saracens' defeat by Leicester at Vicarage Road on Jan 2, when he criticised the performance of referee David Rose and general standards of officiating in England.

The former Springbok claimed that "something had happened" to influence Rose during the interval, which Venter believed resulted in a swing in the penalty count from 9-3 to Saracens in the first half to 10-4 in Leicester's favour after the break.

If found guilty, Venter, who has been instrumental in guiding Saracens to the top of the Premiership since arriving at the club at the end of last season, could face a one-month touchline ban.

Venter, however, said last night that he was keen to have a "conversation" with the RFU at the hearing to address his concerns about refereeing standards.

Asked if he had any regrets about his comments, he said: "What I am pleased about is that I was able to voice an opinion about a subject that is extremely important to me without being rude or abusive about the performance of David Rose."

Former All Blacks prop Clarke Dermody has given London Irish a welcome boost ahead of their crucial Heineken Cup match against champions Leinster at Twickenham on Saturday by agreeing a new two-year deal.

Northampton have signed former Wales prop Darren Morris until the end of the season as a replacement for Argentine front-row forward Santiago Bonorino, who has had to retire because of a back problem.

Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera has signed a new two-year contract with the Kingsholm club. The Gloucester trio of fly-half Freddie Burns, wing Charlie Sharples and centre Henry Trinder have all signed two-year contract extensions with the club, securing their futures at Kingsholm until at least 2012.

England V Wales Hospitality

England V Ireland Hospitality

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