United Rugby Championship: ‘Astute’ John Plumtree to return to the Sharks’ hot seat next season

Dylan Coetzee
John Plumtree during his first stint with the Sharks

The Sharks have confirmed that John Plumtree will take over the head coaching role at the club from the beginning of July.

The addition sees Neil Powell shift back into his director of rugby role after spending time in the hot seat for the second half of the season.

No stranger to Durban

Plumtree has history in Durban, having both played and coached the Sharks before, with his last stint spanning four years from 2008 to 2012.

The team also confirmed that attack coach Dave Williams will return to the club from Bath to serve as one of Plumtree’s assistants.

Powell was delighted to have Plumtree and Williams back in the Sharks set-up and looks forward to seeing the New Zealander at the helm of the club.

“This is an exciting time and a great opportunity to welcome back two vastly experienced coaches that understand our culture, the environment, and know what it takes to wear this jersey,” said Powell.

“Plum is an experienced and astute coach that has coached at the highest level. We are delighted to have him return to lead our senior team. I am sure he is looking forward to hitting the ground running in July, as we prepare for the new season ahead.”

“Home away from home”

Meanwhile, Plumtree said that Durban and the Sharks have always been special to him and he is pleased to be back in the fold.

“Durban has always been my home away from home for many years and I have the fondest memories of my time here both as a player and a coach,” he said.

“I look forward to returning to the Sharks set-up and working with a talented group of players.

“The Sharks are a proud global brand and naturally everyone associated with the brand wants results. Excellence is a non-negotiable and I am fully committed to doing everything I can to achieve our objectives and make our fans proud.”

Powell is happy the announcement has come early so that it allows Plumtree the chance to conduct a full pre-season and plan the way forward for the Sharks.

“We have a long pre-season ahead and this is the ideal opportunity for us to plan, discuss the way forward and identify what we want to achieve as a team for next season and beyond,” he said.

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