Burger 'approached by Saracens'

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Stormers media manager Frikkie Erasmus has revealed some of the club's players claim to have been approached by Saracens' incoming rugby director Brendan Venter.

Venter will take over from Australian Eddie Jones at the Guinness Premiership club at the end of the current campaign.

And a growing South African influence at Vicarage Road suggests next season's recruitment could be headlined by several Springboks stars.

World-class flanker Schalk Burger and full-back Conrad Jantjes are among those to have already been linked with moves, and Erasmus today confirmed 25-year-old Burger had been courted.

He told PA Sport: "We've heard the reports and some of the players have told us that they have been approached by Brendan (Venter).

"But there is nothing in writing, so we can't really say. You have to understand that most of the information we do get is second hand.

"(One of) the players that has mentioned this approach is Schalk Burger. There have also been indications that Jean de Villiers has been approached, and Schalk Brits."

Several Saracens players face uncertain futures following one-to-one meetings with Venter.

The club yesterday stated it would be "completely inappropriate" to comment on what they termed "private meetings", but they have already started working with players' agents and the Professional Rugby Players' Association.

Either way, former Springboks centre Venter looks set to oversee a major clear-out that could include international players.

Saracens last night issued a statement, outlining the current position, on the club's official website, http://www.saracens.com.

"He (Venter) wanted to explain his plans for next season, openly and honestly, and to end any uncertainty," it read.

"Many of the players were enthused and excited by what they heard - inevitably, some were disappointed.

"It would be completely inappropriate for the club to make any specific comment on these private meetings.

"Clearly, every supporter will have their own view on who should play and who should not.

"Everybody has their own favourites, however, in any sporting organisation, it can only be the view of the coach or director of rugby that counts.

"In the England rugby team, that is Martin Johnson's view. In the Saracens team this season, it is Eddie Jones' view. In the Saracens team for next season, it is Brendan Venter's view. There is no other way."

Saracens currently lie seventh in the Premiership, 10 points off the title play-off places.