Black Ferns go on the NZR payroll

by RNZ / 12 March, 2018

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Black Fern Portia Woodman enroute to scoring her team's second try during the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Semi Final match against the United States. Photo/Getty

Payday for the Black Ferns 

The Black Ferns are officially on New Zealand Rugby's payroll.

New Zealand Rugby has announced it will contract its top 30 women's players with the contracts ranging from $12,500 to $20,000 a year.

Players will also get a $2000 a week assembly fee with leading players able to earn a maximum of $45,000 a year.

Players will be expected to train 10 to 14 hours a week and the contracted players will assemble 50 days a year.

After winning their fifth world cup last year, pressure mounted for the Black Ferns to be contracted on a similar basis to the All Blacks.

Fiao'o Faamausili, the New Zealand Black Ferns captain raises the world cup after their victory at the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Final against England at the Kingspan Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Belfast, United Kingdom. Photo/Getty.

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Chief executive of New Zealand Rugby Steve Tew said the contracts signal a new era in the sport with the women representing the fastest growing area of the sport with one in seven rugby players now female.

"The Black Ferns and the Black Ferns Sevens have rapidly grown in profile, statue, and relevance on the international stage. This agreement supports them to be the best they can be when wearing the black jersey," he said.

Chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association Rob Nichol said "this is a significant milestone for the women's 15 game. It is a long-term sustainable model that offers genuine pathways and support for female players on and off the field, and that we can build on in the future.

"The MOU has a strong focus on personal and career development, ensures the provision of key life, trauma and medical insurances, access to quality savings programs while taking care of all the normal terms and conditions expected within a modern-day employment environment.

"The maternity policy gives the players the appropriate support to return to the game if they choose after having a baby. This gives players the flexibility to make important life decision while continuing their rugby pathway," he said.

New Zealand Rugby will also establish a working group to assess future competition options at international and domestic level.

This article was first published on RNZ.

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