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Ed Sheeran

Putea boosts prospects for rugby ferns

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Manurewa MP and former Black Fern Louisa Wall says paying New Zealand's top women rugby players is a great first step.

In a deal worked out between the Players Association and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union the 30 players in the Black Ferns squad will be put on professional contracts under which they could earn up to $45,000 a year.

They will be expected to complete a certain amount of training and to make promotional appearances.

Ms Wall says the money should make it easier for the women to work and study, and she hopes the Players Association will work with them to encourage them to look at how they can extend themselves and prepare for what happens when their playing career ends.

"I think what this opportunity will provide is for a greater scope of developing the whole person, the full person so they can train for their sport but even the ambassadorial part of this arrangement means they have to engage with the public, go to schools, run camps and training sessions themselves, so overall this is a great first step," she says.

She would like to see a women's competition with about six teams, which wojuld mean about 180 wahine on semi-professional contracts.

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