Plumtree: SA's black talent is 'scary'
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Hurricanes coach John Plumtree has paid homage to the wealth of talent at the disposal of South African coaches, particularly the black talent.
Plumtree, who guided his team to back-to-back victories over the Sharks (30-17) and Lions (37-17) during their two-week tour of SA, did not share the pessimism some have over the future of the game in the Republic.
He also suggested that transformation has unearthed some “scary” black talent for the country.
The 53-year-old has an intimate knowledge of the South African game from his time with the Sharks – first a player for a decade (80 games) and later as a coach, from 2007 (as an assistant) through to 2012, during which time they were Super Rugby runners-up twice and reached the play-offs on two other occasions.
Speaking after the Hurricanes’ win over the Lions at Ellis Park at the weekend, Plumtree said it is “never easy” to win in South Africa.
“There is still so much talent here,” he said of the SA game.
“It’s good to see so many young backs in this country, they are so quick.”
He added that the Hurricanes faced a really talented Sharks side in Durban.
“There are some great young players coming through that I don’t know, that have developed over the years.
“The same [happened] here [at the Lions in Johannesburg].
“The talent train in this country will never stop,” Plumtree told a post-match media briefing at Ellis Park.
He added that even though South Africa is struggling to keep their top players in the country, as a result of big-money offers from cash-flush clubs in Europe, he felt the Springboks and South African teams will always be competitive – provided the coaching is up to standard.
“I know it’s a struggle to keep players in the country and that’s similar to New Zealand.
“However, we back our talent, we back our development, we back our schools and our clubs and that won’t change in this country [South Africa].
“It is going to get even better.
“The black players in this country is getting better and better.
“It’s going to be a scary proposition if it keeps happening like this.
“South Africa, as long as it’s well organised and the coaching is good, it is always going to be a hard place to win,” Plumtree added.
By Josh Isaacson, at Ellis Park