Rugby World Cup: Black Ferns players told to expect bonus payments for Cup win

The Black Ferns appear set to receive the widely demanded bonus payments for their World Cup triumph on home soil.

The bonus payments became a hot topic during the tournament, when it was revealed England players had been promised a $30,000 payment for coming home with the Cup, while no financial incentive had been put in place for the New Zealanders.

After the Black Ferns defended their crown against England in the heart-stopping final last weekend - capturing the hearts of the nation along the way - calls have ramped up for some additional compensation to be awarded.

According to Black Ferns star Sarah Hirini, those rewards are on the way, confirming the team had been told to expect a bonus by NZ Rugby.

The amount of the bonus is yet to be confirmed.

"We've definitely been told that something is in the pipeline, which is exciting for us," Hirini told AM.

"We're just waiting to see what comes together and as soon as they know something will happen we'll get told as a group, which is pretty exciting for us as a team.

Black Ferns players celebrate their win.
Black Ferns players celebrate their win. Photo credit: Getty Images

"We were told not too long after we had won. There's definitely something going on so we're just waiting to see what it is."

Earlier this week, NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said they'd been working on the possibility of a bonus, but that nothing had been confirmed.

A "pretty tired" Hirini admitted she was still regathering herself after a whirlwind few days.

She was with the team during their celebrations at legendary All Blacks coach and Black Ferns advisor Sir Graham Henry's home on Waiheke Island on Sunday.

Hirini admitted she was still processing the enormity of their achievement - both in the Cup defence itself and its wider impact on the country.

"I don't think it's sunken in yet," she said.  "I've been watching the videos and the photos of what we've done on Saturday night and it still feels pretty surreal.

"Everything we've achieved - not just the World Cup win but changing Aotearoa and their perspective on women's rugby is pretty incredible."

But for as much as Hirini has savoured her experience in XVs, the sevens format is where her heart lies.

Hirini was one of five sevens players to feature in the Black Ferns' campaign, alongside the likes of Portia Woodman and Ruby Tui.

The 29-year-old - who captained Black Ferns Sevens to Olympic gold at Tokyo - confirmed she's heading back to the sevens programme, after signing a new two-year deal.

That means she'll play no part in next year's proposed bumper eight-test schedule for the Black Ferns.

"I was fortunate enough to transition back to play at a Rugby World Cup here in Aotearoa," she said.

"But I still love sevens and what that's done for me, so I'll be heading back to the sevens programme in the new year."