Former All Blacks manager Wayne Smith was appointed to lead a new line-up for the New Zealand women’s team on Thursday following a damning review of the way the team had been run.
Examination of team culture revealed that members of the Black Ferns had been subjected to culturally insensitive comments, alleged favoritism and body shaming from coaches.
This led to the resignation last week of head coach Glenn Moore, less than six months before the Women’s World Cup, which will be hosted by defending champions New Zealand.
Smith, known in rugby circles as “the teacher” due to his extensive knowledge of the game, rose to the role of director of rugby for the women’s team.
The 65-year-old will lead a new coaching structure until the World Cup in October-November, says New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson.
“There is no doubt about the caliber of Wayne as a manager and what he will bring to this team. We know he is delighted to be involved with the Black Ferns and what they can build this year,” Robinson said.
Smith will be assisted by Whitney Hansen, who has played a trainee coaching role with the team for the past two years, and Wesley Clarke.
Men’s World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry will play a supporting role while specialists including former All Blacks forwards coach Mike Cron will also prepare the squad.
“Wes has been a long-time member of the Black Ferns coaching staff, his insight and experience are invaluable,” Robinson said.
“Whitney is a coach with a great future, she has impressed in her two years with the team, so this is a great recognition of her ability and potential.”
Moore, who led the team to the 2017 world crown, was under intense pressure to step down after the review revealed Black Ferns players had been poorly served by both team management and the public. New Zealand rugby.
The review was launched after prostitute Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate went public with her complaints that she suffered a nervous breakdown because of Moore’s critical comments.
She alleged that Moore told her she didn’t deserve to be on the team and that she was “only picked to play guitar”.