New Zealand rugby has announced almost $1 million in bonuses will be paid to Black Ferns players following their World Cup triumph on home soil – but a massive difference with the All Blacks remains.
The Kiwis lifted the trophy last weekend with a 34-31 win over arch-rivals England.
But her win at the inaugural New Zealand-hosted Women’s World Cup sparked calls for better governing body support for the six-time world champions.
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The Black Ferns had no bonuses built into their contracts for this year’s World Cup.
The players each received $10,000 for winning the 2017 tournament, but that wasn’t confirmed until six months after the finals, when a new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated as backpayment.
In contrast, at the start of their triumphant 2015 World Cup campaign, the All Blacks knew they would rake in $150,000 apiece — or nearly $5 million total — for winning the tournament.
That was an increase of $100,000 for their win at the 2011 edition, while the same $150,000 bonus was offered for the 2019 tournament, where the New Zealand men missed out on the final.
Bonuses for this year’s Black Ferns were not guaranteed until Friday, with each player receiving $25,000, which NZ Rugby Chief Executive Mark Robinson said was “appropriate given the magnitude” of the win.
“New Zealand Rugby, with generous contributions from key partners Sky, Adidas and ASB, have created a nearly $1 million bonus pool to recognize the incredible success of the Black Ferns team and management at Rugby World Cup,” he said.
The World Cup final drew 42,000 fans to Eden Park and huge TV ratings in New Zealand.
Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith – no stranger to rugby – described the experience as one of the best of his life.
As assistant coach of the All Blacks at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, he said NZ Rugby needed to capitalize on the momentum.
“I never thought that a hundred years from now I’d be standing in the middle of Eden Park with 40,000 people singing ‘Black Ferns,'” Smith said.
“Something has flared up in this country around women’s rugby and we need to make it count.
“It was the most phenomenal moment of my rugby life hearing all these people chanting these women’s names.”
Black Ferns star Ruby Tui, who went viral at the Tokyo Olympics last year, led the charge.
“How was New Zealand? How was it?” She asked the Eden Park crowd about the finale before leading them into the song.
“I’m just so proud to be a New Zealander right now. You said nobody cares about women’s rugby. Guess what? We out here. We’re not going anywhere.”
Tui later raised eyebrows when she was seen celebrating without her medal.
It was soon revealed that she had given it to a young leukemia survivor whom she had met in the run-up to the finale and seen in the crowd that night.
“After the game I hung out and waited for them,” Lucia told Newshub.
“She hugged me and took off the medal and gave me the medal. I was shocked and cried.”
When Lucia and her family went back to the team hotel on Sunday to return the medal, Tui refused to accept it.
She took one of Lucia’s cancer survivor beads instead.
https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-union/womens-rugby-world-cup-winners-receive-nearly-1m-in-bonuses-after-public-outcry-c-8897722 Black Ferns receive nearly $1 million in awards after public outcry in support of Women’s Rugby World Cup winners