NZ Sevens: Women paid more than the men
NEWS: The New Zealand Rugby Union confirmed that the country's female team will be paid more than their male counterparts for the next few years.
The NZRU's quest for two gold medals in Sevens at the 2020 Olympics received a renewed investment commitment from High-Performance Sport New Zealand.
The HPSNZ has rewarded Rio Olympics women's silver medalists, the Black Ferns, with an additional NZ$100,000 in 2017 and an additional NZ$200,000 in each of 2018, 2019 and 2020 - taking their support to NZ$1.2 million per year.
In stark contrast funding for the All Blacks Sevens (men) has been reduced from NZ$1.2 million per year to NZ$900,000 in each of 2017 and 2018.
NZRU General Manager Neil Sorensen said the funding would strengthen the female team's ability to prepare for Tokyo.
"I want to thank High Performance Sport New Zealand for their ongoing support of rugby Sevens," Sorensen said.
"The partnership with High Performance Sport New Zealand is an important one, and one we truly value.
"We are grateful for the confidence shown by High Performance Sport New Zealand in the Black Ferns Sevens.
"Their silver in Rio has built the profile of the women's game and contributed to growth in women's rugby generally.
"Recognising this success with additional funding means the team will be even better placed to win gold in Tokyo."
The deduction on fudning for the men's team will not go down well in the rugby mad country.
"We accept the decision [by the HPSNZ] to reduce funding for the All Blacks Sevens," Sirenson said.
"The team is rebuilding, with a new coach appointed to start next year and new players coming through.
"We are in the early stages of building towards Tokyo and are looking forward to delivering better results on the field.
"We have a strategic goal of winning two gold medals in Tokyo.
"We have taken our learnings from Rio, are developing new players, have appointed new coaches to both teams who are backed by a talented management group working with both teams.
"With High Performance Sport New Zealand's support we are confident we will be in the best possible position in 2020 to deliver on the faith they have shown in us."