Smit and Plumtree set for battle

Tue, 25 Jun 2013 07:34
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Outgoing Sharks coach John Plumtree and new CEO John Smit will hold a meeting on Tuesday to resolve the termination of the Kiwi coach's contract.

Outgoing Sharks coach John Plumtree and new CEO John Smit will hold a crucial meeting on Tuesday evening to resolve the termination of the Kiwi coach's contract.

The World Cup-winning Springbok skipper opted not to renew Plumtree's contract in his first action as chief executive at the Sharks, and instead created a new position of Director of Rugby which will be filled by former Saracens boss Brendan Venter.

However, according to The Mercury, Plumtree will bring a legal team to their meeting on Tuesday who will argue that he should be paid out for the full two year contract extension he had been promised by the current CEO Brian Van Zyl.

Van Zyl, who is set to remain at Kings Park until February to mentor Smit, recommended to the board that Plumtree's contract be extended by two years and as a result the outgoing coach will argue that Van Zyl's verbal agreement with him is binding.

Smit, who recently returned to Durban after ending his career with Saracens, only officially takes office from July 1, but felt that decisive action was necessary and duly created the position of Director of Rugby which Venter will take up from the start of the Currie Cup.

The two previously enjoyed a healthy relationship as coach and captain at the Sharks, but this will be their first face-to-face meeting since Smit's decision two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Plumtree is expected to remain in charge for the Sharks' last three Super Rugby games, and another former Sharks player Brad MacLeod-Henderson is set to take up the role of head coach from the start of the Currie Cup.

MacLeod-Henderson is the current assistant coach of the Shark' Under-21 team, and is expected to work under Venter with current U21 coach Sean Everritt assisting him.

This all comes with the Sharks' clash against the Blues just days away, whilst the subsequent South African derbies against the Bulls and the Kings look likely to be Plumtree's last at the helm at Kings Park.

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