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New Zealand Rugby appoint Bunting as 'Black Ferns' culture, leadership manager

New Zealand Rugby appoint Bunting as 'Black Ferns' culture, leadership manager

New Zealand Black Ferns players perform the haka prior to the start of the women's rugby test match between the New Zealand Black Ferns and Australia at Eden Park on Oct 22, 2016. (Photo: AFP/Michael Bradley)

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said on Wednesday (Apr 27) that Allan Bunting has been appointed to the newly-created role of Manager of Culture and Leadership for the national women's side following a review of the "Black Ferns" team culture.

The review said some players and management had complained of negative experiences within the Black Ferns' environment, including instances of body shaming, culturally insensitive comments and favouritism.

Glenn Moore stepped down as coach earlier this month before Wayne Smith was appointed director of rugby.

Former sevens coach Bunting has been praised for creating a new culture and ethos within the women's sevens team, who he led to Olympic gold in Tokyo last year.

"(Bunting's) on-field achievements are well documented but one of his great strengths is growing and supporting authentic, inclusive high performing environments that empower those within," NZR's high-performance women's manager Hannah Porter said.

"We think his ability to work with the coaching, performance and other management staff to align their vision and goals will enable the players to really flourish."

New Zealand will host the Women's World Cup from Oct 8 to Nov 12. The tournament was pushed back by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Reuters/zl

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