|Wickus showed such great promise as a 20-year-old that the then coach Ray Mordt of the Lions opted to use him in the Super 12 in 1997, only to discard him after three matches.
The youngster's confidence took a knock but to his credit he has fought back in brilliant fashion to make the national selectors take notice after a stunning 1999.
Having bulked up in the gym to an impressive 98kg, Venter now plays at centre where his powerful running along with his natural pace and silky sidestepping are used effectively.
His family owns a butchery in Heidelberg. Ran a 10,7sec 100 metres while in school. He was spotted as a schoolboy by former Springbok technical advisor Jake White, who persuaded him to join the Lions in 1997 from the Blue Bulls. |