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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Welsh URC side Scarlets snap up highly rated Taine Plumtree, son of Sharks coach John

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Durban — The Sharks’ new coach John Plumtree, is in for a conflict of emotions when the Durbanites play the Scarlets in next season’s United Rugby Championship.

Plumtree’s son, Taine Plumtree, has been signed by the Welsh team and will join them shortly from the Auckland Blues.

Taine is one of New Zealand’s up-and-coming loose forwards but with the queue to the All Blacks’ loose trio a long one, he may choose to play international rugby for the country of his birth, Wales.

John Plumtree and his wife Lara moved to Swansea in Wales when Plumtree finished playing for the Sharks in 1997. Coaching Swansea was Plumtree’s first big job in coaching (1997-2001) and it was during his time in West Wales that Lara gave birth to Taine.

Their son spent a significant time of his life in Durban when Plumtree was on the coaching staff of the Sharks from 2007 (when he assisted Dick Muir) to 2012.

The Plumtrees returned to New Zealand in 2013. John Plumtree was a flank for the Sharks and he has passed on the genes — plus many a tip — to his son.

Taine played for the Baby Blacks in the 2019 World Junior Championships in Argentina. His senior career began with Wellington in New Zealand’s provincial competition, the Mitre 10 Cup.

An athletic line-out forward and dynamic runner, Plumtree made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2021 and has continued to impress for Wellington, scoring a hat-trick of tries in a game against Northland.

Taine’s move to the Scarlets will please Wales coach Warren Gatland — the 23-year-old flank has for some time been tipped as an international star of the future.

When Plumtree junior runs out for the Scarlets against the Sharks coached by Plumtree senior, it will be a special moment for both but don’t bank on them doing each other any favours.


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