LONDON (Reuters) - Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter has promised to behave after a bizarre post-match interview became a YouTube hit and landed him in trouble with the authorities.
The South African, who is standing down in January, kept a straight face in an interview with Sky television when he agreed with and repeated every question after his side’s 24-21 Heineken Cup defeat to Racing Metro last Saturday.
With Saracens again playing the French side in Paris on Friday, European Rugby Cup (ERC) officials warned him not to repeat the stunt.
Venter told Sky Sports on Thursday that he had modelled his behaviour on the soccer-inspired satirical film “Mike Bassett: England Manager”, which had been shown on the Saracens’ team bus on a trip to Gloucester earlier in the season.
”Everybody’s seen it for what it was, which was a joke,“ Venter said. ”It wasn’t meant to offend anybody. Maybe a bit of passive resistance in a way.
“I do respect them (the rugby authorities). I wouldn’t want to offend them deliberately. So I definitely wouldn’t do it again”.
The former World Cup winner was fined 21,850 pounds last month, with 13,100 pounds suspended to 2012, after being found guilty of misconduct by the ERC for criticising a referee.
”Look, I agree I’ve got a mischevious streak in me,“ Venter told the Daily Mirror newspaper. ”But that’s because life is a privilege to live.
“There are a lot more serious things out there than rugby. It is a game. It is not life and death. I didn’t insult anybody and nobody got hurt.”