Rugby World Cup: Former All Blacks coach Smith joins Black Ferns

Former New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith has joined the country’s women’s team as technical coach as they prepare to host this year’s World Cup.

Smith was part of the All Blacks set-up for 16 years, helping them win the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.

The Black Ferns are aiming to secure their sixth World Cup triumph when they host the tournament between 8 October and 12 November.

However, they suffered four autumn Test defeats by France and England.

England secured a record 43-12 win over the world champions on 31 October before bettering that with a 56-15 success a week later, with New Zealand also losing twice to France in November.

Smith, 64, said he was inspired to come out of retirement by a commitment he made to his late friend Laurie O’Reilly, the first coach of the Black Ferns.

“I indicated to him before he passed away that I would help the women’s rugby in whatever way I could, and now I get the chance,” he said.

“The coaching group is all on the same page around the type of game we need to play to win the World Cup.

“There is a lot of work to be done to get there but it is going to be exhilarating.”

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