sport

Plumtree to leave Ireland role

Ireland forwards coach John Plumtree will stand down after the forthcoming tour of Argentina, the Irish Rugby Football Union has confirmed.

The New Zealander, who joined Ireland last September and worked with the national side during the 2013 Guinness Series and the victorious 2014 Six Nations Championship, is to return to his homeland with his family.

It has been reported the 48-year-old has already accepted a coaching job with the Wellington Hurricanes.

"I have really enjoyed working with Joe [Schmidt, head coach], Les [Kiss, assistant coach] and the players over the last few months," said Plumtree. "But at the end of the day family must come first and we must do what we think is best for the Plumtree family.

"I would like to thank the IRFU for their understanding and wish everyone involved in Irish rugby the best of luck for the future."

Ireland team manager Michael Kearney said: "The Ireland National Rugby Team and Management would like to thank John for his contribution to the team's success over the past season.

"We are sad to see him go but our best wishes are with John and his family on their return to New Zealand."

The Ireland squad jetted out to Buenos Aires from Dublin Airport on Sunday afternoon ahead of two Tests against the Pumas, in Resistencia on Saturday and in Tucuman on June 14.