As a kid, being able to watch the All Blacks on television added to Allan Bunting's hunger to play rugby.

Late last week it was announced that New Zealand had won it's bid to host the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2021 (WRWC2021), which the Black Ferns Sevens coach said was massive news for women's rugby and hoped it would have the same impact for young women.

"It's only going to bring more attention to women's rugby," Bunting says.

"When I was young I used to watch the All Blacks on TV and watch them play, and always wanted to play it. So, the more that young females can see women playing rugby then it's just going to keep growing, so it's amazing."


Bunting, who spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times following his wins at the 50th Bay of Plenty Sports Awards on Friday night, says that exposure is "hugely important" for both women's rugby, and females in general.

Bunting, who was accompanied by his 15-year-old daughter Nikida Bunting, took home the BayTrust Coach of the Year award as well as the top accolade, the Supreme Award.

"It's pretty cool," netball-playing Nakida said of her dad's wins.

"She's playing netball at the moment but she's chucking around a rugby ball and asking me to come out there but I'm not forcing anything upon her, whatever happens, happens."

Bunting, a previous skills coach for the All Blacks Sevens, former professional rugby player and Raukura Old Boy, made his way into the history books by becoming just the second coach in 50 years to win the Supreme Award.

The only other coach to score the top prize is fellow sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens, who was Bunting's coach when he himself was in the NZ squad.

"I probably don't really understand what it is or what it means at the moment," Bunting humbly said.

"It'll probably sink in, in a couple of weeks or a few months ... I didn't know it was going to happen so really surprised."


As a coach, Bunting has had many outstanding successes in recent months. His Black Ferns' Sevens squad backed up a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games with a Rugby World Cup Sevens win.

He was the assistant coach of the Black Ferns Sevens team from March 2012, before being named head coach in 2016.

Next for Bunting and his squad is the HSBC Dubai Sevens at the end of this month.

Departing New Zealand for Dubai on Saturday, Bunting said they were leaving early to acclimatise ahead of the tournament "rather than training back here where it's probably about 10 degrees cooler".

"We're going over there where it's hotter and just getting used to it, and taking our time."

The Black Fern Sevens will be without Portia Woodman and Niall Williams for the Dubai round after injury ruled both players out of contention.


Their absence sees the return of Gayle Broughton and Stacey Waaka – who will meet the squad in Dubai straight from the Black Ferns XVs tour in France, while Youth Olympic Games captain Risi Pouri-Lane is also named in the 13-player squad to travel to the United Arab Emirates.