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2022’s Rugby Rich List: Top 10 Highest Paid Rugby Players In The World. Only three players earning over £1m a year.

Rugby players who represent their nations usually fall in some sort of central contract by their national federation which are announced however most of the rugby clubs around the world do not reveal such details. However there are media outlets which sometime get the information on player’s contract or agent leaks the information. We have managed to get the list of Rugby’s top 10 highest paid players in the world right now.

TOTALSPORTAL.COM examined player contracts of 4 top rugby leagues around the world and figures below represent players contract with their respective clubs. 8 of the highest paid rugby players play either in French Top 14 league or England’s Premiership Rugby league. While only two players make the list from other league and both play for clubs in Japan

The contract length and salaries are official numbers how they do not include any undisclosed array of bonuses and extra fees. Or the player’s personal sponsorship deals with other brands.

NO#PLAYERYEARLY SALARYCURRENT CONTRACT
1Handre Pollard (Montpellier)£1.2 millionLast year in the current deal
2Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears)£1.2 million 2 year deal (2020/22)
3Eben Etzebeth (Toloun)£1 million3-year deal (2020/23)
4Finn Russell (Racing92)£920,0003-year deal (2020/23)
5Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon)£920,0003-year deal (2021/24)
6Maro Itoje (Saracens)£850,0004-year deal (2020/2024)
7Virimi Vakatawa (Racing92)£820,0002 year deal (2021/23)
8Beauden Barrett (S Sungoliath)£780,0001 year deal (2021)
9Michael Hooper (Toyota Verblitz)£750,0001 year deal (2021)
10Owen Farrell (Saracens)£750,0003 year deal (2021/24)

#10. Owen Farrell (Saracens) – £750,000

Back in July 2021, English skipper Michael Hopper signed a long-term deal to stay with Saracens. He was already contracted till end of 2022 season but signing the extension means he will stay at the club till 2024 season. He will earning £750,000 a year plus undisclosed bonuses on his current deal.

#9. Michael Hooper (Toyota Verblitz) – £750,000

Wallabies and Wrahtahs captain Michael Hopper signed a short-term deal with Japan Rugby Top League side Toyota Verblitz worth £750K over 6 month period. The move was approved by Australian rugby union and it is part of yearly sabbatical available to some of the Super Rugby players. Michael Hooper also have his central contract with Rugby Australia where his 6 year contract worth a massive £3 million over years.

#8. Beauden Barrett (Suntory Sungoliath) – £780,000

Beauden Barrett signed for short-term 1 year deal with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath where he will be earning £780,000 for his single season in Japan. He still can represent all-blacks under the contract signed with Japanese side. He is also part of the highest tier contract with All-Blacks where he is paid $1m NZD (£500,000) a year.

#7. Virimi Vakatawa (Racing92) – £820,000

Virimi Vakatawa signed a massive 2 year extension to his current contract with french side Racing92 which will take his stay at the club till end of 2023 season making him one of the highest paid player in Rugby with his £820,000 yearly salary.

#6. Maro Itoje (Saracens) – £850,000

After Saracens were relegated to championship in 2022 and Maro Itoje was rumoured to join french side Racing92 for mega money move. However Itoje showing loyalty extended his contract with Saracens in multiyear deal. He will be paid a massive £850,000 a year plus bonuses and if Saracens move back to top division his base salary becomes £960,000 a year for remainder of the contract.

#5. Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon) – £920,000

Springboks star Cheslin Kolbe signed world record transfer where he moved from Toulouse to Toulon signing a 3-year deal worth €1.1 million euro (£920,000 gbp) a year. Toulon paid a massive £2.23 million transfer fee to Toulouse for his services.

#4. Finn Russell (Racing92) – £920,000

Scottish rugby player Finn Russell signed a massive 3 year deal with french side Racing92 in 2020 which will take his stay at the club till the end of 2023 season. His contract include €1.1 million euro (£920,000 gbp) salary plus bonuses. However he is already getting financially improved offers from Japan where NEC Green Rockets has made inquiries to buy his last two year contract from Racing 92 in a record fee and offering him bumper deal to make him highest paid player in Rugby. 

#3. Eben Etzebeth (Toloun) – £1 million

Eben Etzebeth signed a 3-year deal with french side Toulon which will take his stay at the club till the end of 2023 season. He is reportedly earning €1.2 million euro (£1 million GBP) a year with is current contract. 

#2. Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears) – £1.2 million

One of the first player to reach £1 million a year salary when he signed for Bristol Bears back in 2018. He signed another financially improved 2-year extension to his current contract in 2020 taking his stay at the club till the end of 2022 season making him one of the highest paid player in the world with his current salary of £1.2 million a year.

#1. Handre Pollard (Montpellier) – £1.2 million

Springbok flyhalf signed for french side Montpellier in a bumper deal which made him highest paid rugby player in the world alonside Piutau with his €1.43 million (£1.2 million GBP) a year deal. 

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Writes about financial aspects of major sports specially the ones in motorsports like Formula 1, MotoGP.

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