23 May 2018

Black Ferns skipper back to take up contract

2:22 pm on 23 May 2018

The captain of the New Zealand women's World Cup winning rugby team, Fiao'o Faamausili, has come out of retirement to take up one of the inaugural Black Ferns contracts.

New Zealand Black Ferns captain Fiao'o Faamausili celebrates winning the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Black Ferns captain Fiao'o Faamausili celebrates winning the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2017 © INPHO 2017

New Zealand Rugby has named 28 players to receive the new contracts which are worth between $40,000 and $45,000.

The 37-year-old Faamausili is a police officer and decided to retire from international rugby after the side's fifth World Cup triumph last year having played 52 tests.

The Black Ferns head coach Glenn Moore says Faamausili was encouraged to lace up her boots and put herself in a position to be considered for the Black Ferns again to bolster the experience among what is likely to be a mixed squad of familiar and new players.

"We are thrilled to offer Fi a contract. She is as fit as she's ever been and is super passionate about being involved," said Moore.

"There are a number of new faces among those named and to have Fi's skills and experience to call on will be invaluable."

Moore said the 28 players named today weren't necessarily guaranteed a spot in this year's Black Ferns team.

"We have a Black Ferns training camp in mid-June when we'll get a much better idea of how everyone is tracking. There's also the possibility we'll offer a contract to players outside of the initial contracted squad."

Moore said there were two more contracted positions to be filled.

The Black Ferns sevens team, who compete at the Olympics, have received national contracts for a number of years, but the new deal for 15s players has been seen as pivotal for women's sport in New Zealand.

"It's an exciting time for women's rugby and I'm very proud we've taken the step forward to contract our female 15s players along with our sevens squad," NZR's head of women's rugby said Cate Sexton.

The Black Ferns play Australia in two matches in August, both as curtain-raisers to the first two Rugby Championship tests between the two nations' men's sides, the All Blacks and the Wallabies.

The Black Ferns will also play the United States in Chicago in November, with further matches to be confirmed.

The 2018 Black Ferns contracted squad so far is:


Chelsea Alley - Waikato

Ariana Bayler - Waikato

Grace Brooker - Canterbury

Kendra Cocksedge - Canterbury

Krysten Cottrell - Hawke's Bay

Ruahei Demant - Auckland

Kilistina Moata'ane - Otago

Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali - Counties Manukau

Kristina Sue - Manawatu

Renee Wickliffe - Bay of Plenty

Selica Winiata - Manawatu


Eloise Blackwell - Auckland

Les Elder (nee Ketu) - Bay of Plenty

Fiao'o Faamausili - Auckland

Dhys Faleafaga - Wellington

Harono Iringa - Counties Manukau

Aldora Itunu - Auckland

Linda Itunu - Auckland

Pip Love - Canterbury

Charmaine McMenamin - Auckland

Toka Natua - Waikato

Joanah Ngan Woo - Wellington

Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate - Counties Manukau

Aleisha Nelson - Auckland

Marcelle Parkes - Wellington

Leilani Perese - Counties Manukau

Aroha Savage - Counties Manukau

Charmaine Smith - Auckland