Long-serving coach of the New Zealand women’s rugby team Glenn Moore has stepped down, saying he did not agree with “misleading allegations” made against him by a player, which sparked a review into the team’s culture.
- There were complains about instances of body shaming, culturally insensitive comments and favouritism
- NZR boss had backed Moore to continue as head coach through the World Cup starting in October
- An update on the team’s coaching structure will be provided next week
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) boss Mark Robinson apologised to the country’s elite women players this week after the review found the governing body had failed to sufficiently support the women’s high-performance programme.
The review, run by an independent panel, said some players and management had complained of negative experiences within the Black Ferns national women’s team environment, including instances of body shaming, culturally insensitive comments and favouritism.
The review was triggered after team hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate said on social media in December that she had suffered a mental breakdown after alleged critical comments from Moore.
Mr Robinson had backed Moore to continue as head coach through the World Cup starting in New Zealand in October, but Moore, who stepped down on Saturday, said he felt the review would be a distraction.
“I remain concerned that the prolonged Cultural and Environmental Review continues to be distracting at a time when all focus needs to be on maximising performance,” Moore said in a statement.
Ngata-Aerengamate’s post came after the world champion Black Ferns lost four tests in a row against England and France in November.
The team had been out of internationals for more than two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I did not agree with the allegations she made, and they were misleading. The post provided no context and unfairly and inaccurately represented me as a coach and a person,” Moore said.
Moore became coach of the Black Ferns in 2015 and helped them win the World Cup in 2017.
NZR said a further update on the team’s coaching structure will be provided next week.