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Former Black Fern takes up new Women's High Performance role with NZR

By Sam Smith
(Photo by MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP via Getty Images)

Fresh from overseeing the Black Ferns successful Rugby World Cup 2021 campaign, Hannah Porter will take the newly confirmed role of Head of Women’s High Performance at New Zealand Rugby.


Porter had been seconded from High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) throughout 2022, where she has worked as a Performance Team Leader. In this new role, Porter will oversee the Black Ferns, Black Ferns Sevens, collaborate with Super Rugby Aupiki clubs and lead the development of player pathways to these programmes.

No stranger to the black jersey, Porter played 22 Tests for the Black Ferns between 2000 and 2008, including winning two Rugby World Cup titles. She played six tournaments for the Black Ferns Sevens including captaining the side at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens. Porter went on to hold manager and campaign manager roles for both teams across several years after retiring from playing.

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Porter said she is looking forward to continuing her work in rugby.

“I’m really excited to be part of the long term, sustainable success of the women’s game here in New Zealand. We have a women’s high performance and talent strategy that is due to be completed early next year that will drive a lot of the work in this space and ensure we build an aligned, connected and innovative system.

“I’m incredibly thankful to HPSNZ and the experience I’ve had working with them, learning from different sports, campaigns and systems has been hugely valuable,” said Porter.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Lendrum said it is a fantastic outcome to secure Porter in a full-time role in rugby.

“Coming off the back of an amazing Black Ferns campaign, we know we have a huge opportunity to grow the women’s professional game and the performance structures to enable sustained success and world class playing and training environments.


“We know we have a lot of work to do. Hannah’s passion and expertise, combined with increased people and financial resource in this area, will be essential in delivering this,” said Lendrum.

“I would like to thank HPSNZ for their support in releasing Hannah to work with NZR and the Black Ferns in 2022.”

Porter’s role will work alongside Mike Anthony who will continue to oversee the men’s high performance teams and system.

-Press Release/NZR


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Jon 3 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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