Rugby: Ruby Tui undecided over code future after Black Ferns' World Cup triumph

New Zealand Rugby are uncertain what Black Ferns star Ruby Tui will do next, as the 30-year-old weighs up what code her future lies in.

As part of the World Cup winning New Zealand side, Tui has been a talismanic figure for the Black Ferns since switching to 15s from sevens at the start of the year.

The winger became a household name for the Black Ferns during their victorious World Cup run, and was named as World Rugby's breakthrough player of the year at their annual awards in Monaco on Monday (NZ time).

Ruby Tui and Renee Holmes pose with a fan.
Ruby Tui and Renee Holmes pose with a fan. Photo credit: Getty Images

But as Tui - and her Black Ferns Sevens teammates - was absent from the list of New Zealand's four Super Rugby Aupiki squads on Monday, NZ Rugby's general manager of professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum said the winger is still to decide what her plans are for 2023.

"With Ruby, we're just giving her some time post a pretty hectic year and Rugby World Cup, to determine what she wants to do in the future," said Lendrum.

"There's not a lot more detail at the moment. She's taking time to think about what the right next step is for her career.

"That could be Sevens, that could be 15s. She obviously won a significant award in 15s and has made a massive impression on the game this year.

"We'll be excited to have Rubes back in rugby, whatever way she wants it."

Aside from Tui, the likes of Stacey Fluhler, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Sarah Hirini and Portia Woodman were also not named for next year's second iteration of Super Rugby Aupiki.

Instead, the Black Ferns quartet will return to their sevens commitments, as part of the Olympic gold medallists' core contingent. 

But Lendrum outlines although the World Cup winners haven't been named to feature in next year's squads, there is still a chance for them to turn out in New Zealand's first women's professional franchise competition.

"With the others, obviously a number of those players you won't see in the Aupiki teams. As a rule, they go back to the Black Ferns Sevens programme for next year.

"It doesn't mean it's impossible for them to play Aupiki, there may still be opportunities to do that.

"But their primary focus is on Sevens."