Cape Town – New Zealand flyhalf Beauden Barrett believes Hurricanes coach John Plumtree is capable of replacing Steve Hansen as the All Blacks’ head coach.
Plumtree revealed last month that he is considering putting his name forward as Hansen’s successor after next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and Barrett feels he stands a good chance of getting the job.
“He certainly has the potential,” Barrett told Newshub.
“He’s a great coach from the number of years I’ve had with him so I certainly wouldn’t write him out.”
The Hurricanes No 10 said the All Blacks players were aware of Hansen’s intentions to step down as the world champions’ head coach for some time before his announcement last month and admitted that the upcoming international season will be tinged with sadness.
“It’s sad to see him go, but his legacy that he’s going to leave behind is something he’ll be very proud of,” added Barrett.
“His record speaks for itself. What he’s given to us players, what’s he done for us. He’s got the best out of us so we can only thank him for that.
“He’s certainly not done yet, we’ve got another season. He’s still young too, so you never know where he’s going to end up.”
Barrett’s immediate focus is on the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby campaign, however, which starts next month.
“There’s huge excitement,” he said.
“Plum’s (Plumtree) obviously a passionate guy and cares a lot about the team and the players.
“There’s already been a lot of change around the park and the facilities. I think that’s refreshing and we needed it.”
Plumtree played 80 matches for the Sharks between 1988 and 1997, winning two Currie Cups (1990, 1996). He would later go on to coach the Sharks between 2008-2012.