September 15, 2020

New Zealand Rugby League has appointed Ricky Henry as the new Kiwi Ferns Head Coach ahead of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

The vastly experienced Henry takes on the role after coaching as an Assistant Coach on both the Kiwi Ferns and Vodafone Warriors Canterbury Cup teams for 2020.

Henry brings with him significant coaching experience having worked as the New Zealand Warriors Assistant Development Coach (2008) Warriors NRL Assistant Coach (2013-14) and Warriors Nines Head Coach (2014), and at a national level, the NZ 18s (2012) and NZ Maori (2016) Head Coach.

NZRL GM of High Performance, Motu Tony says; “Ricky’s appointment is a positive step forward in our preparations for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

“With Ricky assisting the Kiwi Ferns under previous Head Coach Justin Morgan; we are able to maintain the continuity and familiarity Ricky has with our Kiwi Ferns players and our female programme.

Ricky has an impressive list of coaching accolades and is well respected throughout our rugby league communities. It’s exciting to think what the Ferns under the helm of Ricky will be able to produce and we are delighted that he will be taking us to the World Cup next year.”

New Head Coach, Ricky Henry says; “It is a privilege to lead the Kiwi Ferns into the 2021 World Cup.”

“I am passionate about the long term success of Women’s Rugby League and building a strong foundation for the future. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to coach these elite women athletes as we work towards a World Cup victory come 2021.”

NZRL will be releasing further detail on an upcoming international fixture tomorrow.

The New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce today, Kelvin Wright as the new Head Coach of the Kiwi Ferns ahead of the Queen’s Birthday weekend National Women’s Tournament taking place 2-4 June.

Since his coaching career began in 2011, Wright has fulfilled several coaching roles at New Zealand level including as Junior Kiwis Head Coach, Junior Warriors Head Coach, Warriors Assistant Coach and Kiwis Assistant Coach, roles which will prove beneficial when he begins his journey with the national women’s rugby league team.

Wright will lead the selection panel identifying the top 30 female players in New Zealand during this weekend’s National Women’s Tournament. These players will contribute to the make-up of the Kiwi Ferns wider squad to be announced on Monday 4 June at the conclusion of the final where the national women’s champion team will be crowned.

NZRL Coaching Manager, Gary Peacham said he was “excited to see a coach of Kelvin’s ability put his hand up for the top job and is confident he can successfully lead the Kiwi Ferns programme.”

While Kelvin boasts a wealth of rugby league experience, he was particularly excited to accept this new challenge  – to coach the three time World Champion Kiwi Ferns team. With the supreme level of talent available in New Zealand, Wright is welcoming of the new era women’s rugby league is about to enter into, and believes he can offer significant value to the team.

“I’ll bring fresh ideas and experience which I’ve gained through a number of different campaigns. On a technical level, I’ll be challenging the players to improve in all areas to take our game to the next level. We are very lucky to have a tremendous amount of Kiwi talent across New Zealand and Australia who will be competing for spots in the squad,” Wright said.

As a part of the trans-Tasman triple-header taking place in Auckland on October 13, the Kiwi Ferns will go head-to-head with the Jillaroos ahead of the Kiwis v Kangaroos clash, in their first match since the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final in Brisbane.

For Kelvin, the road to the October match-up starts this weekend when six teams including last year’s champions, the Counties Manukau Stingrays, Akarana Falcons, Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions, Canterbury, Wellington Orcas and the Auckland Vulcans teams descend upon Cornwall Park.

“I’m sure we’ll see quality games played at a tremendous pace. I’ll be looking for speed, skill and players who compete on every play with a strong desire to win,” Wright said.

Following the tournament, Wright will support the NZRL in appointing the remainder of the Kiwi Ferns management team.