Venter awaits Twickenham fate

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The Independent Online

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter will discover tonight whether he will be allowed into Twickenham for Saturday's Guinness Premiership final.

Venter's appeal against the 14-week touchline ban imposed for making provocative or inappropriate gestures towards spectators at Leicester on May 8 will be heard in London at 7pm.

As it stands, the South African will not be permitted to enter Twickenham when Saracens meet Leicester in the climax to the season.

The club have already devised a contingency plan should the appeal fail with first team coach Mark McCall and forwards chief Paul Gustard assuming control from the dugout.

"I have no fear if I miss the final as we have already run the club as a group of friends and coaches," said Venter.

"We're so much on each other's wavelength that it's scary sometimes.

"The only one who will really suffer from this situation is me, it's not the players or other coaches."

Venter is philosophical over his inability to communicate with the team, though he did not appear to realise he would not be allowed into Twickenham when questioned about it yesterday.

His response when informed that was the case suggested more stormy waters may lay ahead should the Rugby Football Union's independent appeal committee find against him.

"I will be sitting by my wife and children if the worst happens," he said.

"I'll be at the stadium - I can't imagine they won't let me into the stadium.

"We'll solve this problem when it comes at the appeal."

Saracens have courted controversy throughout this season with Venter already having received a suspended four-week ban for criticising referee David Rose.

They have also been involved in two spats with Northampton, the first over the attempted signing of Tongan prop Soane Tonga'uiha and more recently being criticised for their conduct in victory.

Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths, however, insists the club's growing notoriety is undeserved.

"We regret the perception that we're doing things deliberately because it runs contrary to the values of our club," he said.

"We don't seek confrontation with anybody but if something appears to be wrong we are within our rights to say so.

"If we have gained any notoriety then it's not deserved. We're as enthusiastic for the values of English rugby as anyone."