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Embattled Black Ferns coach stands down despite NZR support

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

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New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has today announced that Glenn Moore has decided to stand down as head coach of the Black Ferns.

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Earlier this week, NZR boss Mark Robinson apologised to the country’s elite women players after a cultural review found the governing body had failed to sufficiently support the women’s high performance program.

The review was triggered by Black Ferns hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, who said in a post on her social media in December that she had suffered a mental breakdown after alleged critical comments from long-serving coach Glenn Moore.

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Moore, however, was to be retained as head coach despite the findings of the report and the prior accusations.

“There are learnings from the review. I am committed to ensuring those are taken on board,” Moore said in a statement published by New Zealand media at the time the findings were released.

Moore has since decided to stand down from his role, however.

“The most critical thing right now is for the Black Ferns to be successful and to have the ability to put all their focus into what is a huge year,” Moore said in a statement from NZR. “While this has been a tough decision, I believe it is both the right thing to do for a team I care so deeply about and also for me personally. The team do not need any distractions as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup.”

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NZR CEO Mark Robinson said: “We understand and respect Glenn’s decision to step down and it is a mark of his character that he has chosen to put the Team first at this difficult time.

“Glenn has been a respected and successful coach for a number of senior teams in New Zealand Rugby over 20 years. He joined NZR as Black Ferns Coach in 2015 and was instrumental in leading the team to win the Rugby World Cup in 2017. He has been heavily involved in the transition of women’s rugby in New Zealand from a club and community level game to semi-professional and leaves with our best wishes and thanks.

“We are committed to optimising our systems and processes for our women’s game overall and to ensure the best possible outcome at the World Cup. These are key priorities for New Zealand Rugby.”

A further update on the Black Ferns coaching structure will be provided next week.

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