Hurricanes assistant John Plumtree will still be named as Boyd’s successor as Head Coach after the Northampton Saints confirmed Boyd had signed on as their Director of Rugby at the conclusion of this Super Rugby season.
Boyd, Plumtree and CEO Avan Lee have always had an agreement in place that once Boyd stepped aside Plumtree would take over the reigns. Lee must now get Plumtree re-signed in the next week or two, along with the team’s backs coach Jason Holland.
“We’re not quite ready to announce [the next head coach]. Clearly, I’d prefer to do that straight away, so that people aren’t questioning who it’s going to be, but all I’d say to our fans is trust the Hurricanes, we’ve got things in order and we’ll be making positive announcements within the next few weeks,” Lee said
Plumtree walked away from an assistant role with Ireland to join the Hurricanes with Boyd and has since rejected an opportunity to take the Highlanders’ head coaching role on the basis he would get the Hurricanes job in 2019.
Boyd agreed to terms with Northampton on Friday and informed the Hurricanes’ players, at their preseason camp in Gisborne on Monday.
“In an ideal world you wouldn’t lose any quality people, but you can’t keep everybody forever. We’ve got some very good coaches, trying to keep all of them happy is difficult and some coaches want different things but, at the end of the day, Chris has got an amazing opportunity to go to a successful club,” Lee said.
“It was pretty emotional [when Boyd revealed his plans] for everybody, but we’ve all got jobs to do and Chris is very focused on achieving in 2018 before he goes,” said Lee.
The three years under Boyd have been the Hurricanes most successful period in franchise history, finishing runners up in 2015, champions in 2016 and semi-finalists in 2017.
For Boyd, the decision to leave has not been easy but there is nowhere else to go in New Zealand Rugby.
“In a perfect world I would’ve stayed at the Hurricanes for 10 years and retired and I would’ve been delighted to have done that,” Boyd told Stuff.co.nz
“Once you get to Super Rugby head coach in New Zealand, there’s really nowhere to go and I think it’s an issue potentially for New Zealand Rugby that there’s a lot of experience and intellectual property that ends up going overseas,” said Boyd.
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