New Zealand Rugby has reportedly committed to launching a women's Super Rugby competition next year, with an official announcement about the elite tournament expected later in the year.
Fairfax report NZR's head of women's rugby development, Cate Sexton, said this morning they will "have a competition next year".
“We've just got to work through what that looks like and who the teams will be in that competition.”
The reported confirmation comes after the Blues and Chiefs partook in Saturday's historic fixture at Eden Park, which saw the first women's Super Rugby match played.
Back in March, while passionate discussions about the Silver Lake deal were ongoing, NZR CEO Mark Robinson said the governing body would love to launch a women's competition but it would depend heavily on resources being available.
"We would like to have a competition like that, be it at a professional or semi-professional level, but that will be contingent on the resources we have available to us," Robinson said at the time.
"There are significant opportunities for us to do a range of things in this space, such as women's professional rugby if we have the financial wherewithal and the model to do it.
“There will be restrictions if we don't have that.
“But, we're going to have to look at the reality of our financial model and how that might look in the future."
Since then, the deal has been approved by the 26 provincial unions in an unanimous vote at last month's annual general meeting in Wellington but NZR still faces pushback from the NZRPA about it.
Mediation with the association has begun again this week.
News of full-fledged competition also comes after Black Fern Chelsea Alley penned an emotional "reality check" yesterday about life as a semi-professional women's rugby player in which she admitted she was struggling currently with the physical and mental toll it was taking on her.
"For me, personally, this week - it's working THREE jobs because I have bills to pay," she wrote on Instagram.
"It's playing in THREE different teams in a week and being expected to switch on & perform well in all of them. I need to lead by example in Club, FPC & Super Rugby - all of these teams we don't get paid anything AT ALL to play for.
"This is not a complaint. This is just reality. This is why I will keep fighting for us so that future FPC, Super Rugby & Black Ferns stars have an actual sustainable career. We can't settle because if the amazing ladies before us settled we wouldn't be where we are today."