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Special appearance . . . Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore with North Otago players Morgan Henderson (left) and Lini Kaufana in Oamaru on Saturday. PHOTO: HAYDEN MEIKLE

Glenn Moore was back where it all began on Saturday. The Black Ferns coach, who guided North Otago to the old third division championship in 2002 before coaching the Highlanders, Mid Canterbury and now the New Zealand women, was the guest of honour at the North Otago women’s rugby prizegiving.

Hayden Meikle grabbed Moore for a quick chat.

Q: How are you enjoying life with the Black Ferns?
It’s an awesome time, and it’s a fairly significant time in terms of the transition of the women’s game. There’s a lot happening. We’re assembling soon for our first campaign of the year.

Q: What’s the schedule from here?
We’ve got a game of three halves, and then we’re curtain-raiser to the All Blacks v Wallabies in Sydney. We come back to do the same at Eden Park. And later in the year, we’ve got three games overseas – one in Chicago, two in France.

Q: Has women’s rugby taken a big leap in recent years?
Yeah, I think the game is growing. Numbers are up, interest is growing, and the quality of the skill level has developed a lot. That will keep going, I think.

Q: Does North Otago rugby still hold a special place in your heart?
This is where it all started for me. Every chance I get to come back, I like to do that. I also spent some time in Ashburton, where I grew up, in 2013 and 2014, and had a little bit of success there. I’ve actually just bought a house and moved back to Ashburton. Certainly, I have fond memories of North Otago and my first coaching gig at provincial level. We had some good times here, and I had lots of good experiences.

Q: Are you a different coach? A better coach?
I think I am a lot different now. Every experience you have, you learn from it. You need to keep evolving as a coach because the game changes, and the skills you require change. You need to be able to keep up with that.