Former Black Ferns coaches join Chiefs Manawa as assistants for Super Rugby Aupiki
Former Black Ferns coaches Darryl Suasua and Greg Smith have joined the Chiefs Manawa assistant team for next year’s second edition of Super Rugby Aupiki.
Suasua guided the Black Ferns to their first two Rugby World Cup victories in 1998 and 2002 and Smith was hired as national team manager in 2015 but never took over a Test.
Smith voluntarily retired ahead of the Black Ferns’ 2015 tour of Canada after being suspended for abusing a match official at a club game in Waikato. He later resigned the role and was replaced by Glenn Moore, who was the head coach for nearly seven years.
The Chiefs are coached by Crystal Kaua, who replaces Allan Bunting after guiding them to their first Aupiki title this year, and her husband Brent Kaua also joins the coaching staff with Suasua and Smith.
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The trio were confirmed as Manawa assistants on Thursday ahead of the second Super Rugby Aupiki season which begins in February.
Suasua coached the Black Ferns from 1996 to 2002 and most recently coached provincial rugby with Counties Manukau.
He was also an assistant to Manu Samoa at Smith, the former Chiefs hooker and Fiji captain who has extensive coaching experience in New Zealand and Japan.
Suasua will coach the Chiefs’ attacking skills and Smith will work on their set piece.
The Chiefs said Brent Kaua, the Bay of Plenty head coach in the Farah Palmer Cup, will be their counterattacking and kicking coach after roles at Auckland Rugby and Hamilton Girls’ High School.
Their Super Rugby Aupiki season begins on February 25 against the Hurricanes Poua at Levin Domain.
The campaign begins three months after the Black Ferns won their sixth world title and their first on home soil.