Saracens hit back over Venter ban

Saracens today continued their counter-attack following a 14-week touchline ban imposed on the club's South African rugby director Brendan Venter.

Venter will not be allowed to have any contact with his team during the Guinness Premiership final against Leicester at Twickenham on Saturday week.



He has been suspended until August 24 after being found guilty by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel of making provocative or inappropriate gestures towards spectators during Saracens' Premiership victory over Leicester 11 days ago.



Venter received a 10-week ban, while a suspended four-week sentence imposed earlier this season for a different offence was also activated.



Panel chairman Judge Jeff Blackett said: "We were disappointed that he didn't understand the seriousness of what occurred.



"His behaviour was clearly unacceptable in provoking a reaction from the Leicester supporters which required steward intervention and, even after that intervention, he continued making provocative/inappropriate gestures.



"This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable in rugby, and we reminded him of the core values of the sport, which include respect for the opposition in all its forms."



Saracens, however, while reaffirming their intention to appeal the verdict and suspension "as soon as possible", have hit back.



"The RFU rightly upholds the core values of the sport, which include respect for the opposition at all times," said Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths.



"Where was the respect for Brendan?



"He is given a seat with a restricted view, he stands only so he can see what is happening on the field and he is abused by home supporters.



"In response, he does not swear at anybody, he does not make an obscene gesture at anybody, he does not lose his temper - and yet is now denied the right to coach his team at the final.



"We will appeal against the verdict and sentence as soon as possible."



Saracens hope that appeal will be heard before the final, which they have reached for the first time following their thrilling victory over Northampton last Saturday.



Blackett, meanwhile, rejected the charge Venter had pushed a female spectator during the game at Welford Road.



Speaking last night, Griffiths said: "The charge was summarily dismissed, although we will still be asking the RFU to explain why they levelled and publicised the charge before giving either Brendan or the club the chance to offer our version of events.



"This process needs to be revised."



Under the terms of Venter's ban, he will be allowed to play a full part in Saracens' preparations for the final, but have no involvement with the team on match-day.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions