Wayne Smith takes home Coach of the Year crown
Black Ferns World Cup-winning head coach Wayne Smith has been named World Rugby’s Coach of the Year at the annual awards in Monaco.
The former All Blacks assistant led the Black Ferns to a 34-31 win over England in the World Cup final just two weeks ago.
After coming out of retirement to help the Black Ferns after they went on a disastrous end of year tour in 2021, losing to France and England twice each, Smith completed a fairytale revival by coaching the Ferns to a World Cup victory.
Under Smith’s guidance, the Black Ferns racked up big wins over Australia 41-17, Scotland 57-0 and Wales 56-12 in the pool stages before a rematch against Wales in the quarterfinals.
They defeated Wales 55-3 in the first knockout round before a tight 25-24 win in the semi-final over France.
In just six months, he helped guide his nation to @RugbyWorldCup glory on home soil.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 20, 2022
They clinch their sixth World Cup title by defeating the Red Roses who were riding a record 30-test win streak heading into the final.
The man nicknamed “The Professor” confirmed throughout the tournament that this would be his last stint as a professional coach in any capacity and he would retire after this World Cup.
“Rugby has always been my life since I was five years old, whether I have been a coach or a club player, it’s something I have loved all my life,” he said.
“This will be it for me, I will retire after this permanently. What a way to finish, this is a lot of fun.”
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