Venter focussed for Italian job

Venter focussed for Italian job

Loosehead prop Boan Venter isn’t someone that likes to rest on his laurels.

An abrasive and aggressive ball carrier as they come, Venter is at his best when hitting bags in training or wearing the castle on his chest on match day.

It’s therefore no surprise that Venter is champing at the bit and ready for the return of the BKT United Rugby Championship, with Edinburgh hitting the road to face Zebre Parma this Friday night (16 February, kick-off 7.35pm GMT).

“Yeah, it’s been a nice rest block that we had,” said Venter.

“But it’s been really good since last week coming in and working hard with the boys, putting the hard graft in and being back with the club – I’m keen to get back on the pitch.

“I’m definitely looking forward to these next couple of games in the block – this week in Italy then the next game at home leading into the games in South Africa. I’m really looking forward to getting on the pitch.”

Venter has been made to be patient for game time this season, sitting behind Scotland star Pierre Schoeman while battling for a place among the replacements with Robin Hislop.

With Schoeman on international duty and Hislop injured, Venter is now ready to step up in the coming weeks as Edinburgh face a run of crucial league fixtures.

He continued: “I think it doesn’t really matter if you’re starting or on the bench, you have to be really on it preparation-wise. Because as Sean [Everitt] said today, the game is won in the preparation the week before.

“So I don’t really think you can see it as much different, because you never really know how the week runs out. We’ve seen games where some guys get injured in the warm-up and the next guy has to take over his position.

“So I think when you’re starting on the bench every week you need to be as best prepared as you could, because at the end of the day you need to go on the pitch and give it your all and put out your best performance possible.”

First up in the second half of the season is a trip to face Zebre Parma, the Italian outfit who’ve been much improved in 2023/24, already claiming an impressive scalp at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in the Hollywoodbets Sharks.

He said: “This game is really important for us. The log is quite tight and congested in that middle section, I would say, so it’s really important to us.

“We’re not seeing it as an easy game or anything – it’s a really important game for us and we’ll have to be at our best if we want to come away with the points.”

Head Coach Sean Everitt has been able to welcome back a cohort of Scotland internationalists for this weekend’s encounter in Parma, further bolstering a settled that squad that has so far won six out of nine league fixtures, keeping Edinburgh in sixth place in the Championship.

Venter added: “Our main focus this week has been that we can’t let up for one second or give them any oxygen to breathe, so from the get-go we’re going to have to be on it and try and keep their heads under the water – and get some points on the board.”

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