22 Dec 2017

Woodman calls for more funding for women's grassroots rugby

11:07 am on 22 December 2017

World women's player of the year Portia Woodman is urging New Zealand Rugby to invest more money into women's grassroots rugby.

Black Fern Portia Woodman

Black Fern Portia Woodman Photo: Photosport

Women's rugby has been neglected of funding in New Zealand in the past but members of the Black Ferns and Black Ferns sevens team are paid a match fee while also holding down jobs outside of the sport.

New Zealand Rugby is investigating the possibility of a professional women's competition, similar to the men's Super Rugby format.

Speaking to RNZ's Kathryn Ryan, Woodman said the first area she would target for extra resources is school-level rugby for young women.

"We've got competitions going now for under 15s, under 17s, under 18s (women) which is really awesome, but I also think we need to help out the schools that don't have the competition.

"We have schools having to team up together to make at least one team so I would like to see that happen and then that will also transfer into club games, Farah Palmer Cup then the international side," Woodman said.

Woodman said eventually she would like to see a professional women's competition but believes grassroots rugby needs the most attention.