Greg Smith appointed Black Ferns Head Coach     23 Dec 2014    

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen today announced Smith’s appointment effective from the beginning of 2015.

“We are very excited about Greg coming on board as he will bring an extensive mix of playing and coaching experience to the Black Ferns programme.”

The former Chiefs, Waikato and Fijian international hooker has been an active coach since hanging up his playing boots in 2005.

For the past two years, Smith has been a resource coach for the Black Ferns, and recently was an assistant coach to Manu Samoa. He coached in Japan for three years, and held a number of provincial coaching roles including time as a specialist resource coach for the Chiefs.

As a player, Smith amassed 48 Super Rugby Caps with the Chiefs, ran out 70 times for Waikato and made 46 international appearances for Fiji over nine years – eight of those as captain – including at two Rugby World Cup tournaments.

“Greg brings some fresh thinking and he will challenge players to remain competitive for spots in the team,” said Sorensen.

“The Black Ferns programme for 2015 is still being finalised but we hope to announce early in the New Year an exciting schedule that will see the Black Ferns travel off-shore for at least two Test matches. Greg will spend this summer working with Provincial Unions to identify candidates for Black Ferns development training camps early next year.

“We know that the Black Ferns were disappointed with their Women’s Rugby World Cup results in France this year, but we also know there are some very talented, dedicated and hard working players out there.

“We hope they will continue to push for a place in the 2015 Black Ferns team under Greg’s leadership,” Sorensen said.

Greg Smith said he was looking forward to the new role.

“This is an exciting challenge – there’s some work to be done to get us back to being the best in the world, but I’m really looking forward to that.

“There are some very talented athletes out there – I have been keeping an eye on competitions this year, and I know that as well as the experience we have in abundance, there is plenty of undiscovered talent, and that’s always exciting.”

Greg Smith – Career summary

Playing career

Fiji - 46 International appearances
- 70 Games
- 9 years of International Rugby
- 8 years as Team Captain
- Rugby World Cups 1999-2003

Chiefs - 48 appearances

Waikato - 70 appearances

Coaching Career

2012-14 Manu Samoa - Assistant Coach - Forwards and Defence

- Pacific Nations Cup
- European Tours
- Castle Lager series, South Africa

2013-14 New Zealand Rugby Resource Coach
Black Ferns

2011-14. Teikyo University. Japan
5 consecutive All-Japan University Championships

2011. Chiefs, Investec Super Rugby, New Zealand
- Specialist resource coach – Scrums and Lineouts Throwing

2010-11. Waikato ITM Cup - Assistant Coach – Forwards and Set Piece.
Finalist in both seasons

2009. Bay of Plenty Air New Zealand Cup team - Head Coach.

2008. IRB. Level 4 coaching accreditation.
- 2008 Top student
- Recipient of the highest mark ever achieved in NZ

2008. Fraser Tech Rugby Club. Head Coach.
- Winner of Waikato Rugby Union Premiership

2001. Fijian National Team. Assistant Coach.
- Winner of Epsom Cup, Pan Pacific Championship