The Black Ferns programme has received a welcome boost in 2022 with 29 contracted players leaving behind their day jobs to focus their attention on rugby.
Building on the professional performance contracts introduced in 2018, the new contracting model confirms Black Ferns players will have a guaranteed increase to their retainer along with assembly fees and a range of other benefits.
After more than a decade in the team juggling work and training commitments, Kendra Cocksedge, Renee Wickliffe, Carla Hohepa and Eloise Blackwell now find themselves focusing on training and development.
2021 Black Ferns debutants Ariana Bayler, Alana Bremner, Liana Mikaele-Tu’u, Maiakawanakaulani Roos and Georgia Ponsonby pick up contracts for the first time.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson congratulated those players named in the contracted group.
“2022 is a blockbuster year for women’s rugby and knowing that our leading players will be able to give their all to training and development was absolutely a necessary step to take.
“For a number of these players it has been a long time coming and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve now they can focus on rugby.”
Contracted players will train out on regionalised hubs in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch, receiving technical, tactical and strength and conditioning programmes.
One day a week is committed to Personal Development with players focussing on the areas of career/education and work, finance and asset protection, character development, mental wellness and other professional rugby obligations and expectations.
The first 29 contracts are locked in, with further contracts to be confirmed in coming months.
Contracted Black Ferns
Ariana Bayler (Waikato)
Eloise Blackwell (Auckland)
Alana Bremner (Canterbury)
Chelsea Bremner (Canterbury)
Grace Brooker (Canterbury)
Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
Ruahei Demant (Auckland)
Amy du Plessis (Canterbury)
Les Elder (Bay of Plenty)
Carla Hohepa (Waikato)
Renee Holmes (Waikato)
Ayesha Leti-I'iga (Wellington)
Pip Love (Canterbury)
Patricia Maliepo (Auckland)
Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Counties Manukau)
Charmaine McMenamin (Auckland)
Liana Mikaele-Tu'u (Auckland)
Krystal Murray (Northland)
Aleisha Pearl Nelson (Auckland)
Georgia Ponsonby (Canterbury)
Cheyelle Robins-Reti (Waikato)
Maiakawanakaukani Roos (Auckland)
Amy Rule (Canterbury)
Chelsea Semple nee Alley (Waikato)
Kennedy Simon (Waikato)
Grace Steinmetz (Canterbury)
Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau)
Renee Wickliffe (Bay of Plenty)
Kelsie Wills (Bay of Plenty)