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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 20 January, 2019

Blow for the Cheetahs as Springbok Venter confirms switch to England

The centre is following head coach Rory Duncan to Worcester.

Venter has won seven caps for the Springboks.
Venter has won seven caps for the Springboks.
Image: David Rogers

PREMIERSHIP CLUB WORCESTER Warriors have announced the signing of Springbok Francois Venter from the Cheetahs on a two-year deal, with the centre following his head coach Rory Duncan to England.

The 26-year-old has won seven caps for South Africa and made more than 50 appearances in the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition.

Venter made his Test debut against England in November 2016 and he started in the narrow defeat to Wales three months ago, while also playing a leading role in the Cheetahs’ debut season in the Pro14.

“It’s a very exciting step for me to make the move to England,” said Venter.

“Rory Duncan has been a great coach for us at the Cheetahs and having the opportunity to continue to work alongside him and also Alan Solomons is something I’m looking forward to.”

Venter has made 10 appearances in the Pro14 this season with the South African side sitting third in Conference B ahead of Saturday’s round 17 clash with Connacht in Bloemfontein.

Worcester rugby director Solomons said: “Francois is a fantastic player, and we are thrilled to be bringing him to Sixways. He is an experienced international and I have no doubt that he will play a big role.”

Francois Venter Venter in action against Leinster earlier in the season. Source: Gerhard Steenkamp/INPHO

Worcester are currently second from bottom of the Premiership table, one place above London Irish.

Meanwhile, the Cheetahs have confirmed contract extensions for seven players ahead of the 2018/19 Pro14 season.

William Small-Smith, Nico Lee, Elandré Huggett, Ernst Stapelberg, JP du Preez, Lloyd Greeff, Sibabalo Qoma and Dennis Visser have all committed their futures to the franchise.

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