Plumtree drops Irish; coach 'Canes

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 07:26
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Chris Boyd and John Plumtree will reunite as Super Rugby coaches in 2015 - this time on home soil.

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 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.

Boyd said he was looking forward to the challenges that would come with his new appointment, both on and off the field.

"There has been a lot of hard work poured into the Hurricanes franchise over the past four years, and it's now our job to build on that foundation," he said.

"Our main focus is to create a brand of football that people find attractive to watch, and develop a team that people want to get behind."

Boyd said that meant putting a huge emphasis on engaging with fans, sponsors, and the wider community to ensure the Hurricanes become more than just a team.

"The ultimate goal for us, the dream, is to fill that stadium again," he said.

For Plumtree, the move back to Wellington means stepping away from his current international role as Ireland's forwards coach.

The 48-year-old said despite a number of years away from New Zealand, the passion he still held for the team that represents his home region contributed to his return.

"Coming from Taranaki, and after spending a lot of time in Wellington, I've always had a strong allegiance to the Hurricanes so to move to the franchise will be a nice homecoming.

"I'm extremely excited about reconnecting with Chris and building on our coaching relationship alongside what is, and always has been, a very talented group of players."

Hurricanes Chief Executive James Te Puni said the franchise's focus had been on securing coaches with strong experience at a provincial, Super Rugby and international level, which he was excited to have achieved.

"Both Chris and John possess a great deal of coaching experience, while they are also both proud Hurricanes men with a passion for the region.

"This is a very exciting step for the Hurricanes and we're thrilled to be announcing them as the men who will build on the strong work that has been done by the current coaching team.

"Mark [Hammet], Alama [Ieremia] and their team have made a significant contribution which is extremely important to acknowledge as we look towards this exciting step for the Hurricanes."

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said he was excited about the value both Boyd and Plumtree would bring to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby.

"Their skillsets complement each other greatly and we know they have worked successfully together in the past with the Wellington Lions and the Sharks. We are excited to see what this coaching duo will bring in 2015 and beyond."

Both Boyd and Plumtree have signed two-year contracts with the Hurricanes.