One of the biggest names in women's rugby Black Ferns' Ruby Tui has signed with Premier Rugby Sevens, the highest professional sevens competition in the United States.
Re-signing with New Zealand Rugby last week, Tui made the announcement she would be taking a sabbatical immediately before returning to both the sevens and 15s program.
A highly accomplished sevens player winning a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics and several World Series titles, Tui became a household name in 2022 with her charismatic personality and outstanding playing skills as she helped lead the Black Ferns to a home World Cup trophy and their sixth overall.
The 31-year-old quickly became the face of the tournament as she encouraged the New Zealand rugby community to pack the stands with the Black Ferns opening match against the Wallaroos sold out and the final between the Black Ferns and England breaking women's rugby attendance records.
She heads to the US hoping to continue the growth of the women's game.
"I've been a massive fan of Premier Rugby Sevens and what they've done for women's rugby since they formed in 2021 in the United States," said Tui.
"To help grow our game around the world, especially in a place like the U.S., is an opportunity I take very seriously. PR7s has an awesome model for their competition, with equal pay and opportunity for men and women. And I'm absolutely buzzing to play some sevens again!"
PR7s features eight franchises for both the men's and women's competitions with the competition broken into two conference systems, Eastern and Western, with four tournaments to be played out across the season.
Teams include Texas, New York, Pittsburgh, SoCal and Golden State.
Each tournament will crown a men's and women's winner, culminating in the PR7s Championship, where one franchise will take home the United Championship - an unprecedented prize combining the men's and women's results. The top men's and top women's team will also receive a trophy.
The signing of Tui is a massive drawcard for the US-based competition as they look to grow the game ahead of both the 2031 and 2033 World Cups set to be hosted in the US.
"Having Ruby come and compete in Premier Rugby Sevens at the height of her playing career is an unprecedented historic moment for the sport of rugby and women's sports across the United States," said Owen Scannell, CEO of Premier Rugby Sevens.
"Not only is Ruby a superstar on the field, but she is also one of the greatest ambassadors for rugby and most significant advocates for women's sports globally. She has already captured the attention of millions of new fans around the world, and we can't wait for her to join our efforts to build the game in the US."
Tui will join one of the eight franchises with an announcement to be made in coming weeks.