While rugby might not be the highest-paying sport in the world, professionals are certainly well paid compared to the average person, with some players earning quite a hefty wage.
Who is the highest-paid rugby player in the world? Former All Black Charles Piutau is the highest paid rugby player in the world, estimated to be earning around £1 million per year.
Charles Piutau began his rugby career all the way back in 2010, making his debut for local side Auckland. Injuries in the Blues squad meant that he was given his promotion to Super Rugby two years later. Piutau impressed enough with the Blues to earn his first international call-up in 2013, playing seventeen times for his country, never losing while playing for the All Blacks.
Despite his 100% record and five tries, Piutau was not selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the tournament that the All Blacks would go on to win. This was one of the major reasons why Piutau decided to move to Europe to play his rugby, essentially ending his international career with the All Blacks.
New Zealand rarely selects players who play their rugby outside of the country and so Piutau did not play for his country again after his move to Europe. The move to Europe began with a year with London Wasps. In his first season in Europe, Piutau was nominated for Premiership Rugby Player of the Season and helped Wasps reach the Champions Cup Semi-final.
Piutau only spent one year with London Wasps, signing with Irish side Ulster for 2016-17. Piutau played 45 times for the side and continued to look like one of the most exciting players to watch In all of rugby. That exciting rugby also included a lot of tries and some brilliant all-round performances.
When the Bristol Bears returned to the Premiership in 2018, they came up with a rebrand and a lot of money to spend. They turned to Piutau and signed him as their marquee signing and it has led to some success. Piutau helped Bristol to win the 2020 European Challenge Cup as well as making the top four in two of the last three Premiership seasons.
The issue for Piutau is that he has not been particularly healthy in his time in Bristol so far. He has only played 49 games for the Bears despite signing in 2018. But when he is fully healthy, Piutau is one of the most explosive and exciting players to watch and certainly worth his money when he is at his best.
Who is the highest-paid English rugby player in the world?
It is probably not very surprising to hear that Maro Itoje is the highest-paid English player. He is speculated to earn around £800,000 per year with Saracens. Having made his debut for Saracens at the age of 19, Maro quickly established himself as one of the best players in the world.
He became a crucial part of the Saracens team that won loads of titles. At the age of 27, Itoje is already a three-time European Rugby Champions Cup titles, four English Premiership titles and three Six Nations Championship titles.
When it comes to his play, Itoje is a complete wrecking ball for the opposition. He is one of the best disruptors in the world, causing turnovers at the ruck and the lineout in particular. Itoje is incredibly difficult to shift when he gets over the ball and he is incredibly hard-working, always near the top of the tackle charts.
Itoje is one of the players where it is difficult to find weaknesses in his game. He can really do it all for any team in the world, with his only recognised weakness being that Itoje can occasionally give a penalty away due to being so active in the breakdown.
Who is the richest rugby player in South Africa?
The South African rugby team has a lot of superstars who helped them to the World Cup title back in 2019. Among a group of very talented individuals, Eben Etzebeth is the highest-paid player. It is estimated that he is earning around £900,000 per year.
The massive lock made his domestic debut in 2012, making his debut against England in that same year for the Springboks. Since then, Etzebeth has become a key piece of the successful Springboks team that beat England to win the World Cup in 2019.
Domestically, Etzebeth played for the Stormers until 2012, before getting his big-money move to Toulon which saw Etzebeth become one of the highest-paid players in the world.
There’s a good reason as to why Etzebeth is one of the highest-paid players in the world.
The 6ft 8in lock is dominating in the lineout and is part of one of the best packs in the world with South Africa. But Etzebeth does a lot more for the Springboks, with some really powerful carries and great leadership. Having recently gone past the 100 cap mark for South Africa, Etzebeth will go down as one of the best Springbok players of all time.
Who is the highest-paid rugby coach in the world?
Considering all of the criticism that comes your way when you get it wrong, it makes sense that Eddie Jones is the highest-paid rugby coach in the world, as the head coach of the England team.
After a short playing career, Jones quickly got into coaching and worked his way up through the ranks in Japanese rugby. He finally got his first head coach role in 1998 with Super Rugby’s Brumbies. Having impressed, Jones would become Australia’s Head Coach in 2001, leading them to the World Cup final in 2003, losing to England. After returning to Japan and coaching the national team to a historic victory over South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Jones took up the England job in 2015 after England’s terrible performance at their home world cup. Jones has done well so far, leading England to three Six Nations championships and to the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.