Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has played down concerns that his assistant coach John Plumtree will move to a rival Super Rugby team.
Former Sharks head coach Plumtree has been linked to the Highlanders job that will open up once Jamie Joseph leaves for Japan at the end of the Super Rugby season.
Boyd has however brushed off suggestions that Plumtree will move from Wellington to Dunedin as he says his assistant is happy where he is.
“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,” Boyd told NZN.
“But his family’s settled here and he’s a big family man, so I’d say his strong preference would be to stay in Wellington.”
Plumtree coached Wellington the NPC until 2006 before moving to South Africa where he was head coach of the Sharks until 2012.
Plumtree enjoyed a spell in Ireland with the national team and was an assistant to another New Zealander in Joe Schmidt before he returned to New Zealand.
Boyd says that Plumtree is a invaluable part of the Hurricanes coaching team and that he and the former Sharks coach completed each other well in their working environment.
“It’s nice for me to be able to bounce off him – he’s got vast head coaching experience as well,” Boyd said.
“These random offers come out of left field – it’s a business decision, I suppose, for him but I know his heart’s here and he’ll want to stay.”