When Rugby Union turned professional on 26 August 1995, it is doubtful that those involved in the game, either directly or at a distance, could have conceived of the salaries which some players are taking home 25 years on.
Whereas in the amateur days, rewards for players’ skill on the pitch might have consisted of a few free beers at the pub after the game and a flattering write-up in the morning paper, today sees them issued with small annual fortunes as well.
We take a look at the current top 10 highest earners in Rugby Union:
- Michael Hooper – 572 000 Pounds per annum
The incumbent Australian captain currently plays his provincial rugby for the NSW Waratahs.
- Nicolas Sanchez – 581 000 Pounds per annum
The Argentinian pivot was recently lured to Stade Francais on a lucrative contract deal.
- Dan Biggar – 600 000 Pounds per annum
The Welsh fly-half plies his trade with Northampton Saints and is one of the form number 10s in the world.
- Steven Luatua – 650 000 Pounds per annum
The exceptionally talented back-rower found the handsome contract from Bristol irresistible as he left behind a budding international career in New Zealand to don the Bears jersey.
- Owen Farrell – 750 000 Pounds per annum
The incumbent England captain and fly-half/centre’s penchant for scoring points sees him as one of England’s highest paid players.
- Maro Itoje – 800 000 Pounds per annum
The hard-working English second-row’s efforts have paid off of late, his new contract pushing him right to the top of England’s earners.
Second and first positions are both tied.
The second-highest earners in Rugby Union at the moment are:
Handre Pollard – 1 million Pounds per annum
The World Cup winning Springbok fly-half scored himself an impressive contract with Montpellier at the conclusion of 2019.
Charles Piutau – 1 million Pounds per annum
The hot-stepping Piutau is a favourite amongst the Bristol Bears fans and his blistering form has helped significantly swell his bank account.
Finally, the current top two earners in Rugby Union are:
Matt Giteau – 1.1 million Pounds per annum
The 37 year old enjoyed a fantastic career with the Wallabies and currently finds himself raking in the cash with Japanese Top 14 side Suntory Sungoliath.
Dan Carter – 1.1 million Pounds per annum
It comes as no surprise that Carter is the joint-highest earner in the game at the moment. After an incredible career with the Crusaders and All Blacks, the 38 year old is still able to deliver the goods on the rugby field with the deft skill for which he has always been known.