Professional women rugby players can start to receive up to $45,000 playing rugby. For the female players of the Whakarewarewa Rugby Club, it goes a long way in attracting more women to the sport.
According to Te Maiau Houltham of the Whakarewarewa club, “Women have come a long way in rugby and now there is a better way into the sport which makes it possible for them to have a career in it. Many years have gone by while the men are getting paid for the same amount of work we put in but we have continued to move forward despite not being awards the same avenues in this sport”.
This is the second year that Whakarewarewa has entered into the Bay of Plenty Women's rugby competition today they played Rangataua.
Whakarewarewa understands the opportunities this game can provide for their female players. Ronald James who coaches the team says “I think it's huge and really exciting we have currently got two girls who are playing in Japan they picked up two contracts which is awesome for them something they would never be able to get here until that decision was made to pay women it also means it's going to be exciting for the younger girls that are coming through that gives them something to really aim for so the benefits are going huge”.
30 of the best women players in NZ are now on paid contracts.
“I am really supporting this move because we do a lot of work not only within but outside of this sport," says Houltham.
"We are taking care of our children, taking care of the home. We have continued to do these things without being paid. So to have the opportunity is huge and we should celebrate this.”
It has been 23 after men's rugby union was made professional finally female players in NZ have caught up.