A pay rise could be on the cards for New Zealand's elite women's rugby team.
Negotiations are underway between the Black Ferns, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA).
The issue was brought to light again in August after the Black Ferns' fifth Rugby World Cup triumph in England. Many of the world champion side have day jobs to make ends meet, while some All Blacks get paid more than $1 million a season, according to reports.
In August NZR chief executive Steve Tew admitted their pay was "pretty modest".
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The future terms of engagement for the side are being discussed. A negotiation protocol will manage how and when discussions take place, it was announced on Saturday morning.
"This is an exciting time for us, and for women's rugby, as we discuss enhancements to the environment for the elite women's 15s programme," says NZR general manager Rugby Neil Sorensen.
NZRPA chief executive Rob Nichol agreed, saying the Black Ferns' performance this year highlights how the women's programme "has evolved".
Neither party will comment further until after the formal talks later this year.