New Zealand Rugby: 17 Women's World Cup winners given contract for first time
New Zealand Rugby have given 17 of their Women's World Cup-winning players contracts for the first time.
In total, 28 Black Ferns have been offered the part-time deals, which involve 10-14 hours of training per week and access to technical and medical services.
New Zealand beat England 41-32 in the 2017 World Cup final, despite the Red Roses being on full-time contracts.
England Rugby have since replaced those deals with a match-fee agreement.
Among the New Zealand players awarded contracts are veteran hooker and captain Fiao'o Faamausili, 37, who has put her retirement from international rugby on hold.
Black Ferns head coach Glenn Moore said: "We are thrilled to offer Fi a contract. There are a number of new faces among those named and to have Fi's skills and experience to call on will be invaluable."
The Black Ferns will play two Test matches against Australia for the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy in August, before a match against the USA Eagles in November.
Black Ferns contracted squad
Backs: Chelsea Alley, Ariana Bayler, Grace Brooker, Kendra Cocksedge, Krysten Cottrell, Ruahei Demant, Kilistina Moata'ane, Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Kristina Sue, Renee Wickliffe, Selica Winiata.
Forwards: Eloise Blackwell, Les Elder (nee Ketu), Fiao'o Faamausili, Harono Iringa, Aldora Itunu, Linda Itunu, Pip Love, Charmaine McMenamin, Toka Natua, Joanah Ngan Woo, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Aleisha Nelson, Marcelle Parkes, Leilani Perese, Dhys Faleafaga, Aroha Savage, Charmaine Smith.