All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has firmly put a social media user in his place after the person claimed male rugby players wouldn’t pay to watch women play the game.
Smith’s shutdown came after “David” replied to a tweet by former England wing Ugo Monye, who had a picture of current England international Owen Farrell alongside a photo of Red Rose great Emily Scarlett.
“Bet you all the money in the world, not a single male rugby player in any division, would pay to go see a women’s rugby match,” the account said.
Enter Smith in cutthroat fashion.
"You are wrong I watch all the Black Ferns games, also watch our Sevens women carve it up! And I try keep a close eye on our Manawatu cyclones,” the All Black replied.
“Pay up, you got PayPal?”
Smith’s response was instantly met by plenty of applause, including some of those he has been watching such as 2018 Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year Kendra Cocksedge.
“Love your work my mate,” she tweeted in reply.
“Halfys for life.”
The Black Ferns themselves sent a thank you message too, telling Smith: “We love watching you in action too."
Women’s rugby has been a big focus of the global game in recent years, with participation numbers increasing and more funding going towards teams and competitions.
Earlier this month, World Rugby confirmed the Rugby World Cup would expand to 16 teams from 2025, having last year dropped the genders from the titles of the global competitions to show they have equal status.