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VIDEO: Plumtree heads back to New Zealand

NEWS: The Sharks will be without the services of coach John Plumtree for the next few weeks.

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Plumtree revealed that he is returning to New Zealand for ‘family commitments’ and will only be back in Durban in February.

That means he will not be part of the squad for the next two European fixtures – Challenge Cup Round Three (against Oyonnax in Durban on Saturday) and Round Four (the Dragons in Newport on January 21).

Plumtree should be back in time for the United Rugby Championship grudge match against the Stormers in Durban on February 17.

Attack coach David Williams will take charge of the team in Plumtree’s absence, while Director of Rugby Neil Powell will also cast a watchful eye over proceedings.

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“It is not ideal,” Plumtree said about his temporary departure, adding: “In this environment, our families come first and that includes me.

“I haven’t been home for six months and have no family here.”

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Plumtree is confident his stand-in will do a good job.

“I have a lot of faith in Dave [Williams] doing a good job while I am gone.

“Right now it probably wouldn’t take much to do a better job than me,” he quipped about his team’s record of just two wins in 11 starts this season.

“He [Williams] has the full support of the senior players.”

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Challenge Cup Pool One stanings after twio rounds

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The Durban side is second in Pool One of the Challenge Cup, while the Oyonnax is languishing at the bottom with two losses in two starts in the European competition.

The Cheetahs (top of Pool One) and the Sharks (second in the same pool) will look to seal qualification this weekend.

The Cheetahs host Section Paloise on Sunday in a ‘home’ fixture in Amsterdam, with a win likely to seal a home Round of 16 tie as well.

Likewise, the Sharks would seal qualification with a home victory on Saturday over Oyonnax, who will be all but out if they lose.

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Sharks team to face Oyonnax

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