The New Zealand Rugby Union and the Hurricanes have announced that John Plumtree will succeed Chris Boyd as Super Rugby head coach for the 2019 Super Rugby season.
Boyd will leave New Zealand at the end of the current Super Rugby season to coach Northampton Saints in the English Premiership.
Plumtree will be assisted by Jason Holland and both have been contracted for the next three years.
Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee said the club was delighted with Plumtree’s appointment which would be well received by fans and supporters alike.
“We’re fortunate that someone of Plum’s calibre has already been a key part of the Hurricanes environment. Having both him and Jason at the helm will certainly ensure some important continuity and familiarity, but more importantly, we know they are a formidable coaching combination.
“We know that these appointments will be pretty popular with our fans.
“This does mean that with both Plum and Jason working alongside Chris this year, we are in the best position for a smooth transition to a new management team and new season in 2019. In the meantime, it is important to acknowledge that Chris has done a fantastic job in steering the ship and he continues to keep everyone focussed on our current season,” Lee said.
Plumtree and Holland have signed three-year deals through until the end of 2021.
The final make-up of the coaching staff for 2019 and beyond would be finalised soon with the focus now being on the 2018 season.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Rugby Neil Sorensen said the appointment of Plumtree is great news.
“New Zealand Rugby is lucky to have a home-grown coach with such vast experience in a variety of high performance rugby environments.
“The Hurricanes performances over the past three years has reflected Plum’s influence, especially his defensive expertise, and no doubt that will grow further as he takes the Head Coaching reigns,” said Sorensen.
Plumtree will bring a wealth of experience to the job with a coaching career that spans more than two decades.
Having started with Sawnsea in 1997, Plumtree moved to New Zealand where he enjoyed a successful tenure with Wellington. He then moved to South Africa where he was in charge at Natal before accepting a role as forwards coach with Ireland.
The chance to return to New Zealand proved too much for Plumtree, however, who returned to Wellington to partner Boyd at the Hurricanes in 2015 .
The partnership did not have to wait long to bring success to the club, first making the Super Rugby Final in 2015 before winning the title a year later.