This is what South Africa’s best-paid rugby player earns

Boosted by the weak exchange rate, the best paid South African rugby player earns more than R10 million per year, according to a new report.

Springbok wing, Bryan Habana, who plies his trade in France, for Toulon, is paid an annual salary of £474,600 (R10.7 million) by his club, making him the 9th richest player in the game according to British newspaper, the Telegraph.

A plethora of New Zealanders feature in the Telegraph’s list thanks to their World Cup winning exploits, having also defended the William Webb Ellis trophy. A number of All Black veterans have cashed in on the nation’s success.

However, the best paid player perhaps surprisingly, is Japanese. Ayumu Goromaru, who plays for Queensland in Australia, cashes in on commercial deals in his native country to boost his earnings.

All Black legend, Dan Carter, moved to Racing 92 in France during the off season – becoming the game’s first ‘million pound player’ in doing so.

South Africa’s Duane’ Vermeulen also moved to Toulon in France after the World Cup, and is the only other South African player to feature on the Telegraph’s list – earning £450,000 (R10.1 million).

Bakkies Botha, who retired last season, following a spell with Toulon, was on an annual contract of £390,000, according to a previous Telegraph report for 2015.

BusinessDay noted that any one time, there are approximately 1,000 professional players in the SA rugby system.

Salaries range between R100,000 and R200,000 annually. The minority who make it into Super Rugby squads will earn between R700,000 and R800,000, the paper said.

In 2014, The Star provided a breakdown of player earnings:

Currie Cup player, limited Super Rugby experience

  • In SA: R500,000-R700,000/year
  • In Europe: R1.5m-R2.5m/year

Currie Cup and Super Rugby experience

  • In SA: R1.5m-R2m/year
  • In Europe: R3m-R5m/year

SA club player in Europe

  • 3,000-5,000/month

Senior Bok in Japan

  • R8m plus/year

Senior Bok in Europe

  • R6m-plus/year

Senior Bok in SA

  • R4m-plus/year – incl provincial contract, win bonuses, commercial work

Top 10 richest rugby union players in the world

# Name Country  Club Salary
1 *David Pocock Australia Wasps £1.4 million
2 Ayumu Goromaru Japan Queensland £1.4 million+
3 Dan Carter New Zealand Racing 92 £1.4 million
4 Matt Giteau Australia Toulon £900,000
5 Leigh Halfpenny Wales Toulon £600,000
6 Ma’a Nonu New Zealand Toulon £600,000
7 Jonathan Sexton Ireland Leinster £500,000
8 Charles Piutau New Zealand Ulster £500,000
9 Bryan Habana South Africa Toulon £474,600
10 Manu Tuilagi England Leicester £450,000

*David Pocock has not yet agreed to join Wasps.

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This is what South Africa’s best-paid rugby player earns