Two-time World Rugby Player of the year Beauden Barrett says John Plumtree should not be written off as a contender to replace Steve Hansen as New Zealand head coach.
Plumtree is preparing for his first Super Rugby season as Hurricanes head coach after stepping up to succeed Chris Boyd, who departed to join Northampton Saints.
Hansen will step down after the World Cup in Japan and All Blacks fly-half Barrett thinks Plumtree has the credentials to lead the world champions.
"He certainly has the potential," the Hurricanes playmaker 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."
Barrett said Hansen will be a hard act to follow after such a hugely successful tenure.
"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," the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year added.
"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."