Rugby: Black Ferns' Kendra Cocksedge happy to take pay cut for future of NZ Rugby

Black Ferns halfback Kendra Cocksedge is taking the NZ Rugby (NZR) pay freeze in her stride.

On Thursday, NZR announced it would suspend player payments worth $25 million - or 50 percent - for the rest of 2020, if the sport fails to get back on the paddock this year, due to the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The freeze affects all levels of professional rugby in New Zealand, including the All Blacks, NZ sevens teams, Super Rugby franchises and Cocksedge's Ferns.

Cocksedge is one of 31 women who have professional contracts and she's happy to be a team player.

"We're keen to play a key part in the long-term future of rugby," she told Newshub. 

"Nobody likes a pay cut, but it's the way it is at the moment. People are taking pay cuts across the country and we want to do our bit for the future of the game." 

This campaign was meant to be an important phase for the Black Ferns, who were scheduled to play eight tests in 2020 in the build-up to next year's World Cup in New Zealand. 

Only three of the fixtures had been confirmed - a match against the USA before the All Blacks v Scotland test, along with two tests against the Wallaroos for the O'Reilly Cup.

As it stands, those three fixtures haven't been cancelled, but the United States clash will likely be called off. 

"Everything is uncertain, and it all depends if the borders open up and if we get back on the field in 2020," Cocksedge added.

"There are chances of a domestic competition to give us good competition, heading into a big competition next year."

Most of the women players still have jobs or are studying, which has kept them occupied during the lockdown. 

"We've always worked and played the game," she says. "It's keeping us busy, which is important to have.

"But we are working and training hard, so if we can get back out on the field, we are ready to go. I'd love to be able to wear the red-and-black jersey [of Canterbury] this year in the Farah Palmer Cup."