Plumtree leaves Sharks with immediate effect

The Sharks have confirmed that head coach John Plumtree has left his position with immediate effect bringing an early end to his term in Durban.

The New Zealander was due to exit his post at the end of the Super Rugby season after his contract was not renewed by new incoming chief executive officer John Smit.

However, he has decided to leave his role earlier and details of his settlement remain confidential.

“The Sharks confirmed that discussions were held today (Tuesday) between representatives of themselves and John Plumtree,” a statement from the Durban franchise read.

“It was mutually and amicably agreed between the parties to part ways with immediate effect.

“The terms of the agreement concluded between the parties are confidential.”

Plumtree took charge of the Sharks in 2008, guiding them to two Currie Cup titles.

The first of those was in his maiden season when the coastal team ended a 12-year drought without winning South Africa’s biggest domestic prize.

That team also included new chief and Springbok stalwart Smit.

Two years later they were again crowned champions, while they have also ended as runners-up in the last two seasons, the last of which also saw them reach the final of Super Rugby.

“We thank John for his wonderful contribution to Sharks rugby over many years,” Stephen Saad, the chairman of the Sharks, said.

“He has been a loyal and faithful employee and the Sharks have benefited greatly by his input.

“We are also grateful for the impeccable manner in which he has conducted himself during challenging times in the last while. We wish John all the best in his future endeavours.”

Smit had been criticised in some quarters for his decision not to renew Plumtree’s deal, forcing the Sharks board to subsequently issue a statement outlining their full support for the new appointment.

It is still unsure who will lead the team in the remainder of their Super Rugby campaign, starting with the Blues in Durban on Saturday.

Brendan Venter, who was appointed in a Director of Rugby role, was due to coach them for the Currie Cup, which begins in August.

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