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New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach receives knighthood

By AAP
New Zealand coach Wayne Smith looks on following the Rugby World Cup 2021 Final match between New Zealand and England at Eden Park on November 12, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Women’s World Cup-winning coach Wayne Smith has received a knighthood for services to rugby in New Zealand’s annual King’s Birthday honours.

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The 66-year-old Smith played 17 times for the All Blacks, was head coach and an assistant coach of the men’s team, and was recently appointed as a coaching supervisor for both of New Zealand’s senior national teams.

Smith took over as coach of the New Zealand women’s team just before last year’s home World Cup, following a series of defeats on a tour to Europe.

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The team was not expected to win the tournament but became champions after ending England’s world-record winning streak in the final.

“(The World Cup) was a hell of an adventure,” Smith told the New Zealand Herald on Monday.

“I had no idea when I entered it how fulfilling it would be – not just the rugby but the way the women were, the connection with community, the goodness in them and joy they had for playing.

“Those are things I’ll never forget.”

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1 Comment
G
G 379 days ago

So well deserved!! Arise Sir Wayne

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