Former coach Plumtree hurt by Sharks dismissal

Former Sharks coach John Plumtree has admitted that he felt “hurt” by the way that he was let go by the Union but says that the Sharks will always be close to his heart.

Plumtree was told he would no longer be needed by new Sharks CEO John Smit and left the Union before his contract expired following a difficult year.

The Kiwi also had a verbal agreement with Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl that he would be Sharks coach for the next two years so when he was dismissed by Smit he took legal advice and is understood to have threatened the Sharks that he would sue them unless they paid him for the two years.

Plumtree met with Smit and the Sharks last week and it was agreed that he would be paid for the next two years.

The former Sharks coach’s original contract expires at the end of this year and he has now revealed that he will work as a rugby analyst for Super Rugby broadcasters SuperSport.

“The last while was a very emotional time for me and my family. (And) yes, the manner in which I finished here did hurt very much,” he told the Beeld website.

“This place (Kings Park) was such a big part of my life for 20 years. I was an inexperienced New Zealander when I arrived and it was just unbelievable to experience the passion for Natal rugby.

“I gave my all for this jersey as a player and also as coach – therefore I don’t even consider myself a Kiwi anymore, but a proud South African and Natalian.”

“The Sharks will always be a part of me and I’m passionate about them. Here I had a lot of good and bad times. I will therefore not even consider coaching any other team in South Africa.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll come back here one day as coach of an overseas team,” said Plumtree.

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