Sharks looking to replace Plumtree

2013-06-10 00:00

THE Sharks are looking to replace John Plumtree as their head coach following the disappointments of the Super Rugby season.

The rugby grapevine in Durban has been thick with stories in recent weeks that the Sharks board, following the decision to replace CEO Brian van Zyl with former Springbok captain John Smit, were intent on replacing Plumtree with Nick Mallett.

Embarrassingly, moves to replace the Sharks coach were yesterday confirmed by Mallett, who said he had been approached to take over from Plumtree.

The former Springbok coach told reporters that he would not accept the offer, adding that he was happy to continue as a television analyst.

“I did have an approach from Natal, but I’m very happy at SuperSport and want to continue what I’m doing until 2015 [the year of the next World Cup]. After that I may be interested in returning to coaching with an international team,” Mallett told News24.

The news that the Sharks are looking for a new coach has broken at a bad time for the Durban franchise, who still have three Super Rugby games to play (against the Auckland Blues, Bulls and Kings) after the June international window.

The highly respected Plumtree replaced Dick Muir as the Sharks coach in 2008 and won the Currie Cup in his first season in charge. The Sharks won the Currie Cup again in 2010.

The Sharks then reached three finals in a year (the 2011 and 2012 Currie Cup finals and the 2012 Super Rugby final) without landing any silverware.

Now it appears that Plumtree has lost the support of his board and Mallett, the man head-hunted as his replacement, has publicly turned down their overtures.

Smit joins Van Zyl at the Sharks from July 1 and will take over as CEO at the end of the year in an atmosphere of suspicion and uncertainty.

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