How much do rugby players get paid UK?

Rugby players in the UK can earn quite a large salary, but it really depends on how good they are. The value may not get near to that of a sport like football and a lot of people do not know how much rugby players get paid in the UK. 

How much do rugby players get paid in the UK? In the UK, professional rugby players earn between £40,000 and £100,000 on average. This figure varies massively due to the level they are playing at as well as the quality of the player. 

The exact figure on how much rugby players get paid in the UK really varies. At the very top end, we have seen some players in the UK earn around £1 million per year, but this is reserved for the very best players in the UK, with only a few able to get contracts of this value. 

At the other end of the spectrum, academy rugby players tend to earn around £20,000 per year if they are not yet part of the senior squad. This salary will increase to around £70,000 per year when a player is moved up to the senior squad, but at the low end of the senior squad so not necessarily starting. 

When a player becomes a starter they will usually earn between £100,000 and £150,000, with these sorts of contracts being given to players who are important to their sides and will likely be close to becoming internationals or previous internationals. Once a player becomes a star they will earn upwards of £150,000, with this figure usually above £150,000 and below £400,000. 

At the very top end of the spectrum in the UK is a marquee player. Each professional rugby team tends to have only a couple of marquee players as they can earn anywhere from £400,00 to £1 million. This is partly due to the money that these players can earn from contracts with England which earn them additional money. 

This is only the players in either the United Rugby Championship or the Gallagher Premiership which are the top two leagues in the UK. Outside of these two leagues the salary that a player can earn drops drastically. The average player in the Championship earns between £30,000 and £60,000 per year, with the very top end earning around £90,000 per year. 

How much do top rugby players earn in the UK? 

The very top players playing in the UK can earn contracts of around £1 million per year. But this is only for the very top players. This figure was first circulated when Charles Piutau signed for Bristol Bears. It Is estimated that Piutau earned £1 million per year from his contract with Bristol. 

The rumours are that Finn Russell signed a similar contract with Bath that will see him join the club for the start of the 2023/24 season. This is the contract for the very top players, only a couple in the UK. Outside of that, the top players are still earning over £600,000 per year, which is thought to be the salary of guys like Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Handre Pollard. 

Highest paid rugby union player UK? 

In terms of the highest-paid player playing in the UK, that would currently be former All-Black Charles Piutau. Having failed to establish himself in New Zealand, Piutau moved to Europe after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, originally joining Wasps and ending his All Blacks career. 

Piutau excelled with Wasps as well as a brilliant couple of seasons with Ulster. It was his time with Ulster that landed Piutau a massive contract with Bristol Bears, who had seen a massive spending overhaul in the last few years. Piutau signed a contract with the Bears that would earn him £1 million per year, making him the highest-paid rugby player in the


The highest-paid rugby player from the UK is currently someone playing outside of the UK. Finn Russell is thought to have a similar contract to Charles Piutau, but he is with Racing 92 in France. Russell is thought to be earning around £1 million per year with that contract, having moved from Glasgow to Racing 92 in 2018. 

Who is the richest rugby player ever? 

The richest rugby player ever is likely a guy not many rugby fans will have heard of. Simon McDowell had a short rugby career, playing for North or Ireland Football Club from 1987 to 1990 before a serious knee injury cut his career short well before it had started. It was certainly not his rugby career that made McDowell the richest rugby player ever. 

It was that after retiring he became an owner of a chemical company called Kilwaughter. This company is now set to be worth a hell of a lot more than when McDowell was playing rugby and his current estimated net worth sits around £54 million, making him by far the richest rugby player ever. 

What rugby position pays the most? 

In terms of position, it is hardly surprising to hear that a fly half is the highest-paid position in rugby. A fly-half is crucial to a team’s success and they can make a difference. Guys like Marcus Smith, Handre Pollard and Richie Mo’unga can change games in a second and are crucial to a team’s success. 

This is why on average they are the position which earns the most. It is also because there are some superstars at the fly-half position around the world earning big contracts, led by guys like Finn Russell and Handre Pollard who are earning nearly £1 million per year. 

What rugby position pays the least? 

Looking at recent Gallagher Premiership data, on average the Hooker is the lowest-paid position in the sport. They earn the least when compared to every other position, which is slightly surprising. A hooker needs to scrum as well as being crucial to the success of the lineout, so it is surprising to hear that they are the position that is paid the least, which is at least the case on average in the Premiership. 

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