Most people know FNB Maties player, Janco Venter, as the big and physical flank that had a tremendous FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International season for the men from Stellenbosch in 2016. He was rewarded for his actions by getting a run out for DHL Western Province in the Currie Cup qualification round of last year.
But what most people in the Varsity Cup circles might not know, is that Venter represented Namibia in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, and had the honour of going up against some of the strongest national teams in the world, including the strongest, New Zealand.
On the 25th of September 2015 Janco Venter came off the bench for Namibia and took to a field that had Kieran Reed, Beauden Barrett and Malakai Fekitoa on it. Venter labelled that day as a “life defining moment”, emphasising the aura that is associated with a team such as the All Blacks, especially from a player that is still a student and local player in Stellenbosch.
The experience gained from that opportunity and the whole tournament was something that only benefitted Venter and his spell back in the Western Cape, and it was clear to see that in last year’s Varsity Cup, where he excelled and finished as one of the best players in the tournament.
After the match against New Zealand, Venter had the opportunity to start for Namibia at lock against Tonga. He has been accustomed in the lock position as back up for the Maties side before, as he is more than able to fill a hole in the team. The few games at Western Province will also had value to his team in the Varsity Cup. Venter was accompanied by FNB Maties teammates and lose trio partners, Kobus van Dyk and Beyers de Villiers at Western Province so one can expect some more fireworks from them in this year’s competition.
By Andre Huisamen