Rugby: Stale Super Rugby Aupiki risks player drain overseas in pursuit of full-time gigs

Unfortunately, the All Blacks aren't the only ones heading overseas to pursue other options. 

As Super Rugby Aupiki launched on Wednesday, some have admitted their disappointment in the women's competition, forcing many to leave New Zealand altogether.

Season two officially got underway at the humble Eden Rugby club - just across the road from where the Black Ferns became world champions.

But those hoping that famous night would immediately bring something bigger and better for the domestic game are still waiting. 

"I did hope that it would expand a bit more," Chiefs Manawa captain Kennedy Simon said. "I don't know, but it is a really short competition."

Five weeks in fact - the same as last year - four teams playing each other once before playoffs at the end. And for some, progress is too slow.

They say a lack of professionalism that still surrounds women's rugby in New Zealand has them looking elsewhere.

"There's a lot of other competitions that are starting up and, you know, offer good money to players," Hurricanes Poua coach Victoria Grant said.

Some have given up on Aupiki - either heading overseas or changing codes to join the NRLW across the ditch, as an anonymous player told popular rugby fan page The Legend of Marty Banks.

''I was offered a Super contract again with two Aupiki teams this season but turned them down," they said. "Five weeks of a rushed competition isn't good enough to grow in the game."

While a current Aupiki player also had their say.

''I've decided to sign in Japan after Super, then the world's my oyster," they said. "Can't put my life on hold and be expected to train full-time in NZ but not be paid for it which sucks."

Former Black Fern Grant has seen this first hand. 

"The English league is really huge and we're already seeing some players from our season last year go over to play," she said.

Players overseas earn a full-time salary, while the majority of Aupiki players also hold part-time jobs to pay the bills.

"It's really hard balancing that out with rugby and still putting out a really great product," Grant said.

Many are excited to take part in Aupiki, but know the competition still has a way to go if the game is to truly take advantage of the Black Ferns' success.