The versatile Venter made his Springbok debut off the replacements bench against Wales in Cardiff on November 26, 2000. His pace and power meant he played most of his rugby in the back row but his height and solidity in the lineout saw him start four of his 25 Tests at lock.
Venter was a true hard man who relished the physical aspect and camaraderie of the game. Remarkably, he never played in a World Cup and never crossed the whitewash for a Test try. However, he was part of the Springboks' successful 2004 Tri-Nations campaign and a member of the Lions' 1999 Currie Cup champion side.
Venter was renowned for his ferocious defence and was a prominent ball carrier. After playing in two Tests in 2006, he was selected in a depleted Springbok squad for the away leg of the 2007 Tri-Nations but decided not to take up the offer. Instead, he announced his retirement from international rugby.
He continued playing Currie Cup and Super 14 rugby until he decided to hang up his boots in 2009. Among the teams he ran out for in his rich 15-year career were Italian club side Rovigo, the Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Western Province, Springbok Sevens and Emerging Springboks.
Records/Honours:Currie Cup winner with the Lions in 1999Member of the Springbok Tri-Nations winning squad, 2004