Former Sharks talisman John Plumtree has left South Africa with an enthusiastic nod to what he describes as a ‘scary’ future due to the calibre of improving black player talent emerging in the country.
The Hurricanes boss, who has an intimate knowledge of the South African game from his time with the Sharks as a player for a decade and later as a coach from 2007 in Durban, guided his New Zealand team to back-to-back victories over the Sharks (30-17) and Lions (37-17) during their recent two-week Super Rugby tour.
However, while an air of pessimism exists among some people in South Africa due to the ongoing player drain due to attracting offers from European clubs, Plumtree doesn’t share those concerns due to the effects that transformation is having in producing a new wave of professional standard players.
“I know it’s a struggle to keep players in the country and that’s similar to New Zealand,” said Plumtree to rugby365.com.
“However, we back our talent, we back our development, we back our schools and our clubs and that won’t change in this country [South Africa]. It is going to get even better.
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) June 10, 2019
“The black players in this country are getting better and better. It’s going to be a scary proposition if it keeps happening like this. South Africa, as long as it’s well organised and the coaching is good, it is always going to be a hard place to win.
“There is still so much talent here,” continued the former Ireland assistant coach in the wake of the Hurricanes’ weekend win over the Lions. “It’s good to see so many young backs in this country, they are so quick.
“The talent train in this country will never stop… but there are some great young players coming through that I don’t know, that have developed over the years.”
WATCH: Jim Hamilton visits South Africa in the RugbyPass series, Rugby Explorer
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