Allan Bunting has been unveiled as the New Zealand women’s sevens coach.
With less than a month to go until the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2016-17 kicks off in Dubai, New Zealand Rugby have unveiled Allan Bunting (above right) as the new Black Ferns Sevens head coach.
Bunting has been assistant coach since 2012, during which time New Zealand won three world series titles, RWC Sevens 2013 and a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and takes over from Sean Horan who stepped down in September.
“I’ve loved working with the team over the last five years,” enthused Bunting, who played for the All Blacks Sevens on the 2001-02 and 2003-04 series. “I’ve got good relationships with the players and I know we can achieve even greater success.
“I want to build on the existing culture and grow a player-led environment that thrives on being challenged and is focused on enjoying our journey; a team culture based on whanaungatanga.
“My focus for the first part is getting the right support people and players in place and building key relationships which will be vital in forming the foundations for long-term success.
“I also want to help grow the depth of athletes playing sevens. It doesn’t matter if you are not a rugby player, if you have the desired attributes then I’m interested to see how you go playing sevens.”
The Black Ferns Sevens will face France, Fiji and Ireland in Pool B at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on 1-2 December as they bid to end a title drought that stretches back to Langford in April 2015.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Rugby Neil Sorensen said promoting Bunting to the Black Ferns Sevens head coach position was about ensuring continuity for an already successful team.
“We are very excited to have a coach of Allan’s calibre lead the Black Ferns Sevens and build on the successful foundation that is already in place,” said Sorensen.
“Allan’s time with the Black Ferns Sevens as assistant coach coincided with a period of significant victories and made him the natural candidate to step into the head coach role. He brings mana, knowledge and Olympic experience to the role, which will be critical for the team to reach its potential.
“Allan brings a fresh long-term vision to achieve our key strategic aim which is to win gold in Tokyo.
“Our Tokyo Campaign Plan is focused on having the best team of players and management to deliver success. Allan has the respect of the team. His extensive background as a women’s and men’s coach, and New Zealand sevens player makes him ideally suited to build a winning team around him.”
Sourced from World Rugby.