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Smit sets the record straight on Plumtree

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 24 Jun 2013 at 11:34
Tagged with : , , , , ,

After an initially very negative reaction to “the John Plumtree incident”, Mercury rugby writer Mike Greenaway has done a really good follow-up piece, which I encourage you all to read.

The article, which appears here on IOL, comes after Greenaway and new CEO John Smit sat down for a chat and explains, in Smit’s typically forthright style, how the events leading to Plumtree’s “shock sacking” actually unfolded.

To my mind, a fair few loose ends are now satisfactorily tied up. Smit revelas that his first port of call on returning to the country would have been a sit-down meeting with Plumtree and that the two had already had that meeting scheduled, only for the Nick Mallett approach appeared to appear in the papers the day before it was due to take place. Far from being led to believe that his contract would definitely have been renewed, Plumtree himself had apparently requested an urgent meeting with Smit and was even prepared to fly to London to have that discussion; Plum isn’t a stupid man and he must have known that his future was at least uncertain given results over the last five years. This paints a very different picture to the one Brian van Zyl has chosen to reveal.

Smit sticks to his guns and insists that while he continues to have the utmost respect for Plumtree as a hands-on coach (describing him as the best he’s ever worked under), he felt that a change was needed for the sake of the players. It’s naive to assume that Smit would have made that call all on his own without having the backing of those players, as some seem to be suggesting.

Things are not great between Plumtree and Smit at the moment, as one would expect and the new CEO, at least, expresses regret at that and hopes that in time things can improve between the two of them. Smit is adamant that he is one the right track, though, telling Greenaway “the bottom line is that it is time for a change in the way we play, the way we manage players, and for us to have a combined coaching structure for all our teams across the board. We need a rugby revival.”


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