New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has today announced the new coaching structure for the Black Ferns, taking the team through to Rugby World Cup 2021, played in 2022.
Former All Blacks Coach Wayne Smith, who joined the Black Ferns as Technical Coach earlier this month, moves into the role of Director of Rugby.
He will be assisted be Wesley Clarke and Whitney Hansen. The latter being promoted from the intern coaching role that she has held within the team for the past two years.
Sir Graham Henry will join the team in a coaching support role while specialist coaches, including Mike Cron, will be used throughout the year.
Other changes to the management team see the recent addition of Amanda Murphy as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. The former Black Fern joins the programme from her role as Women’s High Performance Manager at Canterbury Rugby.
Further announcements around the management structure, with specific focus on leadership and culture will be made in coming weeks.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson said the new structure puts the team in a solid position as they build into Rugby World Cup.
“There is no questioning Wayne’s calibre as a coach and what he will bring to this team. We know he is excited to be involved in the Black Ferns and about what they can build this year.
“Wes has been a long-standing member of the Black Ferns coaching team, his insight and experience is invaluable. Whitney is a coach with a big future; she has impressed in her two years within the team, so this is great recognition of her ability and potential.”
“We know the entire management team and playing group are committed to what will be a massive six months, and NZR is dedicated to the success of the programme this year and in the future.”
The mid-year Black Ferns fixtures are due to be announced by World Rugby in coming days.