New Saracens Director of Rugby Brendan Venter has stated that his primary reason for joining the club is to give South African ex-patriots a side to identify with.
Venter takes over from current incumbent Eddie Jones at Vicarage Road this summer, with critics suggesting there will soon be an overwhelming South African influence at a club which already receives heavy financial backing from South African businessmen.
Lat week, Venter reportedly told up to 15 members of the Saracens squad that they no longer had a future in Watford, with the suggestion being that they will be replaced by predominantly South African players for 2009/10 season.
Venter has since told South African newspaper Sondag that he wants to "create a rugby home for South Africans" at last season’s Heineken Cup semi-finalists.
"I only took the work as director of rugby because I see it as a challenge to create a team that will be supported by South Africans abroad,” said Venter, a former Springbok international who has coaching experience in England with London Irish and is currently working with South African Super 14 franchise the Stormers.
“There is so much young South African rugby talent in England at the moment and I believe we can create a team which they can identify with and I hope to make Saracens that team.”
Despite his admissions regarding his hopes for the South African input at Sarries, Venter denied claims that South Africans would receive preferential treatment at the club and instead said his focus would be on winning trophies
"It wont be right for me to say what is wrong at Saracens,” added Venter.
“They are currently eighth in the league and have no trophies in their cabinet. I first want to get there and make my own decisions on which way to go.
"To do well you need a winning mentality and I think South Africans have that mentality. Each player will be chosen on his talents and not because he is a South African."