New Zealand Sevens Salaries To Double In Preparation For '16 Olympics
Salaries for New Zealand All Blacks Sevens players "are set to double within the next year in a bid to lighten workloads and create specialist pathways in the build up to the next Olympic Games" in Rio de Janeiro, according to STUFF. High Performance Sport New Zealand last week gave the New Zealand Rugby Union NZ$6.4M ($5.2M) over the next four years -- NZ$4.8M ($3.9M) to the men's and NZ$1.6M ($1.3M) to the women's sevens programs -- "to enhance the push for dual gold medals in '16." It is understood that "some of that funding will be specifically used to boost player wages." Up to 10 full-time men's sevens players "could be contracted by the end of '13 as part of a gradual progression toward having 20 specialists for coach Gordon Tietjens to select from" in preparation for the next Olympics. All sevens players are currently aligned to a provincial union "and play a large part of the National Provincial Championship to top up their earnings." It is understood that from next year those who secure full-time sevens contracts "will not be required to play the NPC or Super Rugby." Wages will rise to between NZ$70,000 ($57,000) to NZ$120,000 ($98,000) per year, and by the end of '16, high end sevens salaries could reach NZ$150,000 ($123,000) (STUFF, 12/27).