The Black Ferns are set to receive significant back pay for their successful 2017 season as part of a historic deal with NZ Rugby.

An agreement, which is expected to be signed off next month, will see a negotiated one-off payment of around $10,000 each and will ensure Black Ferns contracted players be placed on modest retainers thought to range from $15,000 to $30,000.

The landmark deal will stand as a major step forward toward player pay equality and is mostly thanks to the Black Ferns stunning World Cup victory, which raised questions about investment in the women's game.

Just last week, World Rugby Player of the Year, Portia Woodman, criticised NZ Rugby's decision to disregard a women's tournament in the Hamilton Sevens saying "it would have been a step toward equality and setting the women's game on the same standard as the men's."


Read more: Rugby: Portia Woodman criticises NZ Rugby for dismissing a women's tournament in the Hamilton Sevens

The NZ Rugby Player Association entered contract negotiations with NZ Rugby late last year, with the Black Ferns performance on the table as a major negotiation tool.

Both the association and the national body have declined discussion while negotiations were ongoing, but the Sunday Star Times confirmed that the Black Ferns would be rewarded financially for their efforts from last season.

This would mean that even retired Black Fern stars such as former captain Fiao'o Fa'amausili and Carla Hohepa would still benefit from the new deal.

And if the agreement for a financial bonus wasn't enough, it was reported that the deal was expected to be just one of several breakthroughs for New Zealand's elite female players this year.

Read more: Rugby: Black Ferns in talks for pay increase

The Black Ferns could be back paid for their victory in the 2017 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty
The Black Ferns could be back paid for their victory in the 2017 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty

Other changes will revolve around the establishment of regular international matches for the Black Ferns, and a confirmed calendar for training and development camps.

These key details would aim to provide more international opportunities for the Black Ferns, as well as providing players with key tools to better plan their lives and schedules.

Read more: Black Ferns clean up NZ Rugby awards

Players Association chief executive, Rob Nichol, said he wasn't able to put a date on the signing.

But with the 2018 season kicking off, Rugby bosses would certainly be conscious of the need to finalise the agreement soon.