AJ Venter (born 29 July 1973) is a retired South African rugby union footballer, who played rugby for the Sharks in the international Super Rugby competition, and the Sharks in the domestic Currie Cup competition. Venter has also played for the South African national team, the Springboks.
Venter made his debut for South Africa on 26 November 2000 in a Test against Wales in Cardiff, and went on to represent the Springboks 25 times, his usual position was as flanker, but he also played at lock or No 8.
After retiring from professional rugby Venter up-skilled himself within the financial sector and worked with institutions like ABSA and Old Mutual.
AJ Venter was selected for the second-string squad for the away legs of the 2007 Tri Nations Series in Australia and New Zealand as almost 20 first team players were either rested or injured. But he decided to retire from International rugby and hence withdrew from the Springboks touring squad.
His retirement meant that he also missed out on a possible World Cup place with the Springboks, but he cited personal and business commitments in Durban and South Africa as his reasons for the retirement. He however, continued playing for the Sharks until the end of the 2008 Super 14 competition.
He did however later in the year rekindle his passion for the game after a lack of game time including a controversial exclusion from the Sharks semi-final team and with his freshened body he joined the Stormers (Western province) on a short term contract.
In 2002, Venter, along with Richie McCaw of New Zealand, saved referee David McHugh from injury when a drunk South African fan ran onto the pitch during a 2002 Tri-Nations game between South Africa and New Zealand in Durban. McCaw wrestled the fan off the referee while Venter ran and tackled both McCaw and the fan to the ground before the rest of the players attempted to drag him off as security ran onto the field.