Wayne Smith will lead the Black Ferns’ tilt at this year’s World Cup, being named today to replace former coach Glenn Moore.
Smith was appointed as a technical coach to the team this month but, after Moore’s resignation, will now be in charge as director of rugby through to the end of the tournament in Auckland and Whangarei later this year.
Smith will be assisted by Wesley Clarke and Whitney Hansen, as confirmed today by New Zealand Rugby in Christchurch, with the latter being promoted from the intern coaching role she held within the team for the last two years.
Former All Blacks World Cup-winning coach Sir Graham Henry will join the team in a support role, while specialist coaches, including Mike Cron, will be used throughout the year. New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said the new structure put the team in a solid position as they built into the World Cup.
“There is no questioning Wayne’s caliber as a coach and what he will bring to this team,” Robinson said. “We know he is excited to be involved in the Black Ferns and about what they can build this year.
“We have been a long-standing member of the Black Ferns coaching team; his insight and experience are invaluable. Whitney is a coach with a big future; she has impressed in her two years within the group, so this is great recognition of her ability and potential.