Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree has emerged as a leading candidate to take over at the Highlanders.

Plumtree confirmed to RadioSport that he had been approached and was definitely interested.

The Super Rugby champions have been forced to search for a new coach because Jamie Joseph will head offshore to coach Japan and his assistant Tony Brown does not want the top job at this stage.

Plumtree said he is open to another coaching move although he had hoped to give his family some stability by staying in Wellington after many years pursuing his rugby career around the world.


The 50-year-old played as a forward for his native Taranaki before moving to South Africa. He coached the Sharks before being fired by new CEO John Smit in 2013, and worked as an assistant to Irish coach Joe Schmidt.