Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

It’s a Plumtree family reunion as Scarlets host Sharks in Wales

Like his dad John, Taine also plays in the backrow and is a specialist flanker.

A family reunion of sorts will take place in Llanelli, Wales, this weekend when the Sharks take on Scarlets in a round 15 United Rugby Championship match on Friday night.

Visiting coach John Plumtree of the Sharks will “meet up” with his son, Taine, a loose forward for the home team, Scarlets.

Taine (24) plays in the back row, just as his dad John did in his playing days, and stands 1.95m tall.

The younger Plumtree was born in Swansea when John coached there many years ago, but later played senior rugby for Wellington and the Blues in Super Rugby. He also turned out for the New Zealand Under-20 side and joined Scarlets in June of last year.

Taine Plumtree
Taine Plumtree in action for Wales last year. Picture: Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

‘Cool occasion’

“There’s been a little bit of chat between me and dad over the last couple of weeks in the lead up to it,” Taine told the URC media team.

“I stayed at their hotel on Sunday just because I haven’t seen them (his family) since September and it was really good catching up. It’s going to be quite a cool occasion for us. It will be a nice family affair with him upstairs (in the Sharks coaches’ box) and me down on the pitch.”

Taine added he’d always looked up to his dad, John, growing up, but had never felt pressure to play rugby.

“I’ve always looked up to him. I’ve been around rugby my whole life, so it’s something I always wanted to do, but it was never a thing where he was like ‘You’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that.’

“He’s never been one to push me to do something because it’s what he wanted me to do. It’s always what I wanted.

“He has always been that pillar in the background who has helped me out with my rugby through my career. Giving me pretty decent advice, and he still does.”

Dad John said he was proud of Taine, though he revealed he would have liked to have coached him at the Sharks. John re-joined the Durban-based team last year after first coaching the Sharks between 2007 and 2012.

“I wanted him to come to the Sharks, but as soon as Warren Gatland got involved, it was all over, he was heading for Wales,” said John, who before joining the Sharks for a second time was also All Blacks assistant coach.

“I’m really proud of him. He is loving it at the Scarlets, he loves the Welsh people and he is happy.”

Young Taine was part of Gatland’s World Cup training squad last year and also made his Wales debut in August. A should injury however ruled him out of World Cup contention.