Hurricanes expect Plumtree to reject Highlanders

Date published: April 18 2016

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Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd believes his assistant John Plumtree won't be leaving Wellington to take over at the Highlanders in 2017.

Speculation in recent weeks has linked Plumtree with the soon-to-be vacant role in Dunedin with current boss Jamie Joseph leaving at the end of the season to take over with Japan.

Boyd highlighted how Plumtree's family had settled in the city since their return from Ireland, where Plumtree was an assistant coach with the Irish national side.

"I'm aware of the speculation that's surfaced in the media and I'm aware of the Highlanders' desire to chase John to go down south, but his family's settled here and his boys are settled at Wellington College and he's a big family man so I'd say that his strong preference would be to stay in Wellington," Boyd told the Dominion Post.

Plumtree and Boyd also have a long history of working together, previously combining their skills with the Wellington Lions, with the Sharks and now with last season's Super Rugby finalists.

Having left his role with Ireland to return to New Zealand to work with Boyd, the head coach doesn't expect to see his assistant now move elsewhere.

"We've enjoyed working together and, as I say, he gave away his position in Ireland as the forwards coach there to come back to the Hurricanes, where he felt home was," Boyd added.

"Hawera's his home historically, but he feels Wellington's his home in New Zealand so, yeah, I think they're settled here."

"These random offers come out of left field and it's a business decision I suppose for him. But I know that his heart's here and he'll want to stay here."

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