Even when John Plumtree was coaching at the Sharks franchise in South Africa, the Hurricanes have always been in his blood.

With current head coach Chris Boyd announcing he will leave the Wellington club at the end of the Super Rugby season, Plumtree was seen as the leading candidate to take the reins from 2019-onwards.

"If that's the case then I'm honoured," Plumtree told Radio Sport.

The 52-year-old, who had been an assistant coach with the Wellington franchise since 2015, admitted he wanted the head coaching job, but said he wasn't getting ahead of himself.

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"It's still a long way down the road in terms of having any chats and that, so my big focus is just getting this team ready, doing my role and we'll worry about that later.

"If it happens it happens. There'd be a lot of continuity if it happens, but you can't take anything for granted in the rugby world.

"My job's to support Boydie and I'll keep doing that until he finishes."

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd will depart at the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season. Photo / Photosport.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd will depart at the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season. Photo / Photosport.

Plumtree, originally from Taranaki, expected an announcement to be made on who would take over from Boyd before the beginning of the Super Rugby season, which gets underway for the Hurricanes on February 24 away to the Bulls.

Whether he got the role or not, Plumtree said he would be happy doing whatever was required of him with the franchise. The former Wellington coach was off-contract at the end of the year, but said he hadn't been looking at positions elsewhere.

Boyd and Plumtree have had a handshake agreement that the former would step aside for the latter once their contracts expired – which is at the end of this season – and Plumtree previously knocked back the top job with the Highlanders to remain with the Hurricanes.

"There's other decision-makers around all of that, but if it happens it happens."

For the time being, Plumtree was focusing on doing his part to prepare the side for the season ahead.

The Hurricanes beat the defending champion Crusaders 43-22 in their first pre-season clash in Greymouth at the weekend. While they weren't looking into the result too much, Plumtree said it was a good indicator of where the side were in their preparations.

"A lot of the things we've put in place in terms of our structures and all of that the boys understood and put in place and we ran with it.

"It was just good for us to have a hit out and (come away with) no injuries.

"The weekend was a bit of a hit-out for them and a chance to get the jersey on. For all those new guys it was a big moment...we've all got one eye on South Africa - our first game - we've still got a couple of weeks to go before we get there but that's what it's all about really."

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