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A hot favourite has emerged in bid to sign Springbok Venter

By Alex Shaw
South Africa’s Francois Venter

According to Rapport, Francois Venter could be the next big name to announce a move to the Aviva Premiership, with Worcester Warriors believed to be leading the chase for his signature.

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There is also interest from France, Ireland and Wales per the report, but Worcester, who will be led by Venter’s current head coach Rory Duncan next season, look set to win out and lure Venter to Sixways.

Worcester may have lost at the weekend but with 12 points separating them from bottom-placed London Irish and just six games remaining in the season, their prospects of avoiding the drop and staying in the Premiership next season look very healthy.

Venter would add to an already strong South African flavour at Worcester, with Alan Solomons in place as director of rugby, and Springboks Francois Hougaard, Wynand Olivier and Dewald Potgieter in the playing squad. There are plenty of uncapped South Africans in the West Midlands, too, with Dean Hammond, GJ van Velze, Nick Schonert, Matt Williams, Simon Kerrod and Gareth Milasinovich also contracted for the Warriors.

In addition, Cornell du Preez and Scott van Breda will be joining next season, having agreed moves from Edinburgh and Jersey Reds respectively.

Should Venter make the move, he would fill the void left by Jackson Willison, with the Kiwi opting to move south to Bath in the offseason, leaving Worcester, who regularly lose Ben Te’o to international duty, light in the midfield.

With Solomons confirming on BT Sport’s coverage of Worcester’s game with London Irish at the weekend that the club had finishing their recruitment in the back-row and that there were no negotiations going on with James Haskell, they may well have the financial flexibility to bring in a player of Venter’s quality.

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