Tyla Nathan-Wong granted release from Black Ferns Sevens contract
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has agreed to release Black Ferns Sevens player Tyla Nathan-Wong from her contract at her own request to pursue an opportunity to play in the NRLW competition during the Black Ferns Sevens off-season.
The 28-year-old has been involved in the Black Ferns Sevens programme since her debut in 2012 at the age of 18. She has been a pivotal player for the Black Ferns Sevens during this time, achieving a number of milestones on the world stage.
Notably she has won two Sevens Rugby World Cups, Olympic silver and gold medals, Commonwealth Games bronze and gold medals, alongside seven Sevens World Series titles.
Nathan-Wong said she was grateful that NZR has enabled her to pursue a personal goal.
“I am excited to be jumping across the ditch and joining the NRLW. It will be a great opportunity to grow myself and my game on and off the field in a different sport, team, and environment before hopefully returning to the sevens programme.
“As an athlete I love the challenge and growth that sport offers, so to be able to test myself in a different format and experience a new space to refresh is hugely exciting.
“I am really appreciative to NZ Rugby for giving me the contract release to enable me to take up the opportunity and to my fiancée, family, and management team for all the support.”
Sweeney extended his support for Nathan-Wong’s new challenge.
“Tyla has been a huge part of our team for some time now, it is unsurprising to have an athlete of her calibre to be sought after by another code.
“While the timing is not ideal being a year out from the 2024 Paris Olympics, we wish her all the best with this next chapter in her career. We will certainly be staying in touch with her about a possible return to the programme with a view to being a part of next year’s Olympic campaign.”
NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum noted the increasing number of options available for professional women’s rugby players to explore.
“After 12 years with the Black Ferns Sevens Tyla has played her part in achieving the many successes of the Black Ferns Sevens, and we are grateful and thank Tyla for her contribution.
“Our women’s professional players have an increasing number of opportunities available to them. We are working hard to ensure we are building competitions and a pathway in the women’s game that our players want to play in, but we are not yet in a finished state.
“We need to maintain an open mind to retaining talent in this space and provide solutions that meet the needs of both players and NZR.”
-Press Release/NZ Rugby
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