Venter in the dock
SARACENS rugby director Brendan Venter has been hit with a misconduct charge following comments he made after his team's 25-23 Heineken Cup defeat by Leinster at Wembley earlier this month.
Venter was furious that French referee Christophe Berdos failed to sin-bin three Leinster players during the second half when a rash of penalties prevented his team gaining momentum.
The complaint will be heard by a three-man independent disciplinary committee in Dublin next Thursday.
Meanwhile, former England captain Phil Vickery has been forced to retire with immediate effect. The 34-year-old prop has been in severe pain since damaging his neck while captaining Wasps against his old club Gloucester on September 25. He successfully recovered from four major back and neck operations during his 15-year professional career – but this time the risk of serious injury was too great.