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Black Ferns boss speaks out following allegations made by key player

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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Black Ferns head coach Glenn Moore spoken publicly for the first time since Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate’s allegations against him following last month’s tour of England and France.

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Ngata-Aerengamate, a veteran Black Ferns hooker who was part of their 2017 World Cup-winning squad, revealed on Instagram earlier this month that she had a mental breakdown while on tour in Europe.

The 30-year-old claimed her breakdown came after years of mental struggles since her Black Ferns debut in 2013, before making a series of allegations against Moore, who has been in charge of the New Zealand national women’s side for six years.

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Among the allegations included claims from Ngata-Aerengamate that she had been told by her head coach that she didn’t deserve to be in the team, that he was embarrassed for her and that he couldn’t tell her worth in the squad.

The 32-test rake also said she was sworn at for wearing a jacket around her hips, was yelled at for running to rucks and how she ran the ball, and was recently told that she had only been picked to play for the Black Ferns because she could play the guitar.

Since the allegations were made by Ngata-Aerengamate, who elaborated on social media about the impact the alleged comments have had on her personal life, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced it had appointed an independent panel to oversee a cultural and environmental review of the Black Ferns.

Now, two weeks after Ngata-Aerengamate’s Instagram post, Moore has issued a statement supporting NZR’s review into his side, although he did not directly address the comments made by his squad member.

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“I welcome NZ Rugby’s supplementary review of the culture and high-performance environment in the Black Ferns,” Moore said in a statement.

“As head coach of the Black Ferns my priority is the wellbeing of everyone involved in the Black Ferns team and achieving a healthy balance between the pressures that come from preparing and competing at an elite level of sport and achieving success at pinnacle events within a supportive environment.

“I am committed to assisting with all aspects of this review to achieve a positive outcome and ensure we have robust support systems in place for the whole team, including players, coaches, and management.

“This review is particularly important as the Black Ferns accelerate preparations for the Rugby World Cup 2022.”

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The statement said Moore, whose Black Ferns side fell to four straight defeats in record fashion against the English and French last month, would make no further comment.

NZR said it expected the independent review into the Black Ferns would be finalised by February, one month after the Black Ferns are due to assemble for a training camp ahead of next year’s World Cup, which will be held in New Zealand.

“Following consultation with the New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA), New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has appointed a review panel to oversee the Black Ferns cultural and environmental review,” NZR’s statement said.

“The scope of the review will see Black Ferns players, management, NZR and NZRPA personnel provide feedback on the team environment, with a focus on identifying and supporting improvements as well as any behavioural or wellbeing concerns.

“The review team will present their report to NZR and NZRPA by the end of February, after the conclusion of their meetings.”

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