New Zealand’s World Cup-winning coach receives knighthood


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.

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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