The debate over female athletes being paid the same as their male counterparts has come to the fore again, this time after the Black Ferns' fifth Rugby World Cup triumph.
The New Zealand women's rugby team beat England 41-32 in Dublin on Sunday morning (NZ time) to claim the trophy after a dramatic second half push.
- Black Ferns claim Women's Rugby World Cup glory with enthralling 41-32 win over England
- All Blacks coach Steve Hansen lauds Black Ferns Rugby World Cup victory
New Zealand Rugby Chief Steve Tew told The AM Show the grass roots growth of the sport needs to continue and a "sustainable" business model maintained if women are to be paid the same as men.
"A fully contracted 15s program at this stage is difficult to see simply because there isn't a 15s program in the world that would sustain that, but we're evolving the women's game quickly."
Tew acknowledged the women put in a considerable amount of work for little return.
"It's fair to say payment in this form of the game is pretty modest."
Some of the team are already on full time rugby Sevens contracts with New Zealand Rugby, which Tew said was an advantage.
While many of the team were staying in Europe for some well-deserved rest after the World Cup, Tew said conversations will occur in the near future over the direction of the program.
Tew said the team also deserves some sort of celebration after their world-conquering victory.
"Once we get the core group back we'll sit down and work out how we best commemorate this outstanding victory."