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New coach for Kiwi Ferns

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

Former Junior Kiwis coach Tony Benson will coach the Kiwi Ferns as they build towards the rugby league women's World Cup in Australia later this year.

Benson replaces Taranaki-based Alan Jackson following the recent Auckland Nines campaign, where New Zealand lost three straight matches to Australia.

With the bulk of the Kiwi Ferns squad based in the greater Auckland area, the need for a locally based coach meant Jackson was unable to continue, the New Zealand Rugby League said in a statement.

NZRL high performance manager Brent Gemmell said it was important to provide the same support for the women's game that Australia and England did.

"We are aware that both Australia and England have placed a new emphasis on the women's game and are preparing strongly for the November tournament," he said.

"With the women's final being played as the curtain raiser to the men's final, we are determined to support our Ferns to be as well prepared as possible to stake a claim for the title."

Benson has already started working with the women to ensure their conditioning is at its best for the May Test against Australia.

"The previous coaching staff have done a fantastic job with the women, and I'm looking forward to picking up from where they left off so we can continue improving their game," Benson said.

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