John Plumtree appointed as Ireland forwards coach

Former Sharks Super Rugby coach John Plumtree has been appointed as the new Ireland forwards coach from September.

Plumtree was Sharks coach between 2008 and 2013 but was told he was not needed for next season by new Boss John Smit.

Forty-eight-year-old Plumtree who is originally from Hawera will join the Ireland coaching set-up, alongside head coach Joe Schmidt and Les Kiss.

In 2012 Plumtree was named South African Coach of the Year and before that he coached Swansea RFC to success in the Welsh League (1998), Cup (1999) and the Welsh-Scottish League (2001) before taking the Wellington Lions to three play-off finals (2003, 2004 and 2006) in the New Zealand NPC, and guiding the Natal Sharks to two Currie Cup victories (2008 and 2010).

Commenting on the announcement, Joe Schmidt said: “It’s great to have John joining us as part of the Irish coaching team. His proven success and broad experience across a number of competitions along with his ability to provide quality direction will add real value to the team.”

John Plumtree added: “I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Irish coaching set-up.”

“Having watched a number of recent Test matches there are some really positive challenges in front of us.

“I’m conscious of the responsibility we have and will be working hard to play my part in driving the team forward.”

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