* Please let us know if we have missed anyone out, and we will add them into the story.
Our former and some current internationals are coaching in all sorts of different forms and grades around the country. The likes of Anna Richards, Aimee Sutorius, Cheryl Smith, Susan Dawson, Melissa Ruscoe, Davida Suasua and Mel Bosman all have coaching roles in the Farah Palmer Cup. Casey Robertson coaches men’s senior club rugby, while the likes of Hannah Porter, Diane Maliukaetau, Annaleah Rush, Emma Jensen and Trish Hina are coaching the younger generation of players at school level. Rawinia Everitt and Aroha Savage have coached in Hong Kong and now have their own venture in Northland called Native Sports Performance. Teresa Te Tamaki coaches the Waikato Women’s Sevens side, with current Black Fern Chelsea Alley as Manager. Alley has also done her fair share of coaching as well. Victoria Grant, who is the current Black Ferns Sevens Development coach, is head coach of the Bay of Plenty Women’s Sevens side, with Kelly Brazier as her assistant. Brazier’s team mates are also involved in coaching, with Kat Whata-Simpkins in charge of the Bay of Plenty Under 18 Girls Sevens side and Tyla Nathan-Wong coached the 15s side. Kristina Sue coaches the Manukura First XV and Sevens girl’s sides and she was a RedBull Ignite7 coach. Eloise Blackwell coaches the Epsom Girls Grammar side, while Exia Edwards is in charge of Opotiki Women’s Sevens. Honey Hireme is a player-coach for her club, Melville. Geri Paul is coaching at her club in Waitara, Taranaki. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate is currently the head coach of the Kaitaia College girls team. Sharleen Nathan (née Holden) currently coaches the Hamilton Girls High Rugby team and was also a coach at Redbull Ignite7. She has previously been assistant coach of the Manawatu Farah Palmer Cup team.
Rebecca Mahoney has had a lot of firsts in 2019. She became the first female referee to officiate a Ranfurly Shield match and then later in the year she also became the first woman to ref a Mitre 10 Cup match. Mahoney will make her women’s Six Nations debut when she officiates the Ireland v Italy match in Dublin in the New Year. Nicky Inwood is currently a referee coach. Back in 2007 she made history by becoming the first woman to referee at Twickenham, when she officiated a Six Nations women’s Test. Amy Williams is a referee in the Hawke’s Bay, while Tiana Ngawati has only recently begun refereeing and found herself quickly moving up the referee ranks. Ngawati switched her playing kit for a whistle at the TECT National Sevens tournament last weekend. She recently officiated at the Ignite7 tournament in Auckland. Also new to the world of refereeing is current Black Ferns fullback Selica Winiata. She has just made her refereeing debut on the World Sevens Series, with an overall goal of becoming the first player to referee Sevens and play 15s at an international level.
Rugby Development Staff
There are a huge amount of current and former Black Ferns & Black Ferns Sevens players who are giving back to the game in rugby development roles throughout the country. Current Black Ferns skipper Les Elder is the women’s Player Development Manager at Bay of Plenty Rugby, while Kendra Cocksedge is the Crusaders region Rugby Development Manager at New Zealand Rugby. Vania Wolfgramm and Marina Canterbury hold the same role as Cocksedge, but they look after the Blues region and Hurricanes region, respectively. Black Ferns first five-eighth Krysten Cottrell is a women’s Rugby Development Officer at the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union and Amanda Murphy is the Women’s High Performance Manager at Canterbury Rugby Union.
Board Members & Presidents
Dr Farah Palmer, who was recently induced into the Maori Sports Hall of Fame, currently sits on the New Zealand Rugby Board. She became the first woman to be on the NZR Board in its 124-year history. Izzy Ford is on the Wellington Rugby Union Board, while Natasha Wong is a Board Member at the Canterbury Rugby Union as well as managing their Farah Palmer Cup team. Erin Rush is the Vice President of the Centurions Rugby Club in Wellington. Monalisa Urquhart is a Committee Member of the New Zealand Barbarians Rugby club, and she also commentates for Sky Sport.
Commentating & Broadcasting
Speaking of commentating, several current and former Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens players have entered the world of broadcasting. Melodie Robinson has led the way in broadcasting, becoming the first female to commentate women’s rugby in New Zealand. Since then former players like Rochelle Martin, Vania Wolfgramm and Honey Hireme have all got into commentary, while Kristina Sue recently joined the Spark Sport team for their coverage of the Rugby World Cup in Japan. More and more current players are getting behind the mic like Black Ferns Sevens playmakers Ruby Tui, Michaela Blyde and Sarah Hirini.