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John Plumtree

SpringboksThe positons of the Springbok coaching and management team for the 2016 season and beyond will be reviewed by the Executive Council (Exco) of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), SARU announced on Monday.

Jurie Roux, the chief executive officer of SARU, said that the contracts of all of the national team’s coaching, medical and logistical staff expire at the end of the year.

“The Executive Council (Exco) has the power to appoint management and coaching staff with the exception of the position of the Springbok coach, which is ultimately decided by the General Council of SARU,” said Roux.

“That body meets on 4 December when the positon of the Springbok coach for 2016 will be on the agenda. Once all affected individuals have been notified of any decisions a public announcement will be made, which is not expected before 5 December.

“We realise the great public interest in the subject and this is easily one of the most important decisions we take as an organisation. Supporters will understand therefore that we have many factors to consider before any announcements can be made. Those deliberations cannot take place in public out of respect for individuals and our governance structures.”

Media are advised that SARU will make no further comment on the process until any announcements have been made.

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Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen

John Plumtree

John Plumtree

With the current DHL Stormers coach, Allister Coetzee already having confirmed his departure to Japan at the end of 2015 and with Demetri Catrakilis already having signed for Jake White’s Montpellier, the rumour mill is starting to get into full gear regarding replacements for these vital Stormers positions.

Current Hurricanes forwards coach and former Sharks head coach, John Plumtree is touted to be a favourite for the Stormers head coach position.

Johan Goosen, 2nd choice flyhalf at Racing Metro, has also been linked to a move to Cape Town, to join DHL Western Province.


John Plumtree:

Former Sharks coach John Plumtree is being linked with a move to coach the DHL Stormers in next year’s Super Rugby competition.

Plumtree is currently the assistant coach of Super Rugby log-leaders, the Hurricanes, but the New Zealander has been in connection with Western Province Director of Rugby, Gert Smal, about a possible move to Cape Town.

Allister Coetzee, the current Stormers coach, will leave the team after this year’s competition to take charge of the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

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Gary Gold

Gary Gold

With the Cell C Sharks sitting in 11th position on the Combined Log, after suffering 7 losses, the only thing left to play for is pride, as the play-offs seem an almost impossible dream.

The Sharks were humiliated by the Highlanders in their 1st game of their Australasian tour, with even the most faithful of supporters conceding that the season is effectively over.

It seems that Sharks boss Gary Gold is in agreement, stating that they are now only playing for pride and to try and win back some disgruntled fans.

“The issue for us is that this is a matter of pride, of massive pride,” Gold said.

“We’ve let a lot of people down, we’ve let a lot of supporters down – the expectations were high for this team.

“I’m not about to provide any excuses for what happened in our performance, it was sub-standard and whatever the reasons are, we’ll investigate that.

“I take responsibility for it, I’ve said that before, but the bottom line is that we have to fix it.

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HurricanesThe Hurricanes could not have asked for a better start to the Super Rugby season, managing 6 wins from as many outings. They are in pole position on the combined standings and are expecting to improve even more as their rested players return.

“The boys are enjoying themselves because winning is way better than losing,” Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree told the NZME.

“But every week there’s something to fix and every week’s not perfect and we are looking to improve the whole time.”

Their defence has been the cornerstone of their success, with only 82 points being scored against them so far, 2nd to the Brumbies who have conceded a mere 80.

Their next challenge comes in the form of the Stormers who were beaten 39 / 21 by the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday. However Plumtree acknowledges the physical threat posed by the Cape outfit, boosted by their very own return of some key players.

“They’ll be hurting after what happened last week,” Plumtree said. “So we’ll be expecting them to respond pretty positively in terms of intensity.”

The Stormers may welcome back a couple of players, namely Duane Vermeulen, and Plumtree said they would bring the physicality associated with any South African team.

“We’ll have to really step up in the pack.”

The Hurricanes rested a number of All Blacks – Beauden Barrett, Ben Franks and Julian Savea – for last week’s game with the Melbourne Rebels but they will likely return this week. Hooker Dane Coles (elbow) also missed the win over the Rebels but is fit again.

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Brad Macleod-Henderson & Paul Anthony

Brad Macleod-Henderson & Paul Anthony

John Plumtree coached the Cell C Sharks in six Absa Currie Cup campaigns, and in four of those they topped the log.

They didn’t always convert that advantage. In 2009 they finished top but got bombed by the Cheetahs in a Kings Park semifinal on a day that, Plumtree will probably agree now, he made a mistake by absorbing too many Springboks back into the starting team. The Boks had won a series against the British and Irish Lions that year, as well as the Tri-Nations.

They weren’t in the mood and didn’t have the energy for the Currie Cup.

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Clark Laidlaw

STAYING ON: Clark Laidlaw will join the Hurricanes coaching staff in a fulltime role in 2015

Clark Laidlaw helped shore up the Hurricanes’ defence this season and he’ll get a chance to further improve the side under new coach Chris Boyd.

Laidlaw will join Boyd and his assistant John Plumtree in the third official appointment to the 2015 coaching staff.

The former Scottish Commonwealth Games sevens representative came to the Hurricanes via Taranaki in 2013 as an in-season skills coach before taking up the task of fixing the leaky defensive line this season.

Laidlaw had immediate success with the Hurricanes keeping their try line intact on two occasions, something they hadn’t managed over the opening three years of head coach Mark Hammett’s tenure, and also conceding fewer points per match than in the previous season.

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Simon Easterby

Going green: Simon Easterby has left Scarlets to become Ireland’s new forwards coach

Simon Easterby has been confirmed as Ireland’s new forwards coach.

The former Ireland captain will replace John Plumtree in head coach Joe Schmidt’s back-room set-up, with the New Zealander returning home for family reasons.

Easterby will assume his new role in October, in time for Ireland’s autumn international Guinness Series of Tests against South Africa, Georgia and Australia.

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John Plumtree & Chris Boyd

John Plumtree & Chris Boyd

Chris Boyd and John Plumtree will reunite as Super Rugby coaches in 2015 – this time on home soil.

The pair, who coached the Durban-based Sharks together in 2009 and 2010, have today been announced as the new coaching duo to lead the Hurricanes into next year’s campaign.

Current Wellington Lions coach, Boyd, will take up the head coach role, with Plumtree as his assistant.

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The SharksJohn PlumtreeClive WoodwardJake WhiteJohn Smit - 2013 - 002There seems to be a lot happening at the Sharks, in front of and behind the scenes, prior to this weekend’s Super Rugby clash between the Sharks and the Blues.

Apparently John Smit said no to Jake White and Clive Woodward (Both World Cup winning coaches) but chose Brendan Venter in stead, read more below.

More news involving John Smit and outgoing coach John Plumtree suggests that the 2 are to meet to see if they can sort out diferences, the package John Plumtree is demanding and the immediate way forward, read more below too.

With Super Rugby back on the weekend, the speculation is also rife about who will play at flyhalf and in midfield, with a host of centres injured but with Butch James back. Will the flyhalf spot go to Butch or Patrick Lambie and will the other beselected at inside centre?

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sharksCoach John Plumtree has opted for continuity and kept the exact same squad of 22 players for their encounter with the Stormers in Durban on Saturday. In the only change within that squad, strongman Jean Deysel will be  starting this week with Jacques Botes moving to the bench.

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SharksThe Sharks will take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign with arguably the strongest side available to them and will be captained by Francois Steyn.

Coach John Plumtree said that he had very tough decisions to make in naming the team and of course to find the right balance as some positions had atleast two players fighting it out for the jersey.

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plumtreeI was reading some Tweets this morning when I came across this article from Mark Keohane and I have to say a very well written one at that, about John Plumtree.

Now here I want to give my point of view – as I feel we all will in one form or another acknowledge (although I do not wish to add to what is already said in the article) and I feel the man has paid his dues, he has done everything that should be expected of him and more.

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Two from two and a bye next week for the Stormers, thats 12 points in the bag, and thats what counts. The Stormers used their ‘get out of jail free’ card this weekend, and between now and the Blues in 2 weeks, there’s a lot of work to be done.

For the Sharks it is 0 from 2 with 2 meagre bonus points.

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It’s being regarded as a trial and will be contested over four chukkas so no teams have been announced, but the Sharks’ pre-season clash with the Boland Cavaliers on Friday night will nonetheless provide some areas of intense focus for both coaches and spectators alike.

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