The Black Ferns were awarded the ISPS Handa Team of the Year and New Zealand’s favourite sporting moment with the Black Ferns final lineout of the Rugby World Cup final, against the throw, to win the 2021 Rugby World Cup (played in 2022). Former Black Ferns Director of Rugby Wayne Smith was awarded the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson said this evening’s ISPS Handa Halberg Awards have signed off an incredible year for the Black Ferns.
“We are incredibly proud of the Black Ferns and what they achieved at last year’s outstanding Rugby World Cup. Tonight’s achievements at the ISPS Handa Halberg Awards speaks to their success, both on and off the field. They captured the hearts of New Zealanders and in doing so have inspired us all to continue to harness that energy into the growth of women’s rugby.”
Robinson continued by congratulating Wayne Smith on receiving the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year.
“The success of the Black Ferns has been the result of a team, which has been directed by a professor of rugby. This evening’s accolade for Wayne, fittingly acknowledges his exceptional contribution to this team and to rugby. He will forever be recognised for the legacy he leaves this team.”
Black Ferns Sevens Captain Sarah Hirini was also recognised for her outstanding leadership, receiving the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award.
Robinson applauded Hirini’s award as acknowledging her tremendous contribution to the game.
“We are privileged to have someone of Sarah’s mana involved in our sport. She is an exceptional leader, who continuously inspires our wāhine toa of today and the future to aspire to achieve their goals. We are delighted for her to be fittingly acknowledged for her outstanding leadership. We look forward to seeing her to continue to achieve on and off the field,” finished Robinson.
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year: Ruahei Demant
ISPS Handa Team of the Year: Black Ferns
Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year: Wayne Smith
New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment: Black Ferns win the final lineout of the game against the throw, 5 metres from their tryline, winning the World Cup. November 2022.
New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment: Ruby Tui Singalong with the crowd after winning the 2021 Rugby World Cup, played in 2022. November 2022.