The Saracens South African connection
Controversial Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter has returned to South Africa, leaving former Ulster and Castres Olympique coach Mark McCall at the helm.
lHe will work with dual-code England international Andy Farrell. It is an Irish-English double act that will oversee the progress of a club dubbed the South African Exiles.
lSaracens sit in second place in the Premiership. Owen Farrell, son of Andy, hooker Jamie George and lock George Kruis are all lining up to challenge for first-team honours. But the South African dominates big game selections.
- Their quartet of Springboks, Schalk Brits, Deon Carstens, Neil de Kock and the injured Derick Hougaard, are buttressed by six forwards and England-qualified centre Brad Barritt in their 38-man Heineken Cup squad.
SARACENS HEINEKEN CUP SQUAD: 38
p Schalk Brits: 3 caps -- hooker
p Deon Carstens: 9 caps -- prop
p Neil de Kock: 10 caps -- scrum-half
p Derick Hougaard: 8 caps -- out-half
SOUTH AFRICANS: 7
p Brad Barritt (England qualified) -- centre
p Mouritz Botha (England qualified) -- lock
p Petrus du Plessis (England qualified) -- prop.
p Ernst Joubert -- number eight
p Justin Melck -- back row
p Ethienne Reynecke -- hooker
p Jared Saunders -- prop