Top 12 Highest Paid Rugby Players in the World

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Rugby is one of the most ferocious sports in the world. Although Rugby boasts itself as one of the most violent sports in the world, it also boasts its global popularity.

Not to mention the star Rugby athletes whom fans and clubs cherish soo much. 

Highest Paid Rugby Players
Highest Paid Rugby Players

So keeping this thing in mind today, we have ranked some of the highest-paid Rugby players in the world. Also, we have added a few details about these players, so make sure to read it through. 

Top 12 Highest Paid Rugby Players in the World

Here’s a quick look at what today’s ranking looks like. 

Rank Name of Players Salary
12 Rhys Webb £550,000
11 Morgan Parra £570,000
10 Michael Hooper £572,000
9 Nicolas Sanchez £581,000
8 Dan Biggar  £600,000
7 Ma’a Nonu £600,000
6 Steven Luatua £650,000
5 Aaron Cruden £680,000
4 Charles Piutau £1m
3 Dan Carter  £1.1m
2 Matt Giteau £1.1m
1 Israel Folau £1.14m

12. Rhys Webb

Born on December 9th, 1988, Rhys Webb is a Welsh professional Rugby player with exceptional talents as well as looks. 

To clarify, this talented union player plays for Ospreys as a Scrum-half. Webb played club rugby for Bridgend RFC and Aberavon RFC before entering the regional side in 2008.

Talking about his professional career, Webb had been with the Ospreys for 10 years before joining the French club Toulon in 2018.

Rhys Webb. (Source: Wikimedia)
Rhys Webb. (Source: Wikimedia)

However, he didn’t remain with the French side for long because, in 2020, Webb terminated his contract and decided to return back to Ospreys.

Webb has represented Wales at various levels, not to mention his participation in the international rugby sevens. This was all before making his debut for the senior national team.

And now, Webb proudly plays in the Ospreys as one of the highest paid rugby players in the world. 

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11. Morgan Parra

Our 11th ranked player is Morgan Parra, a French professional rugby union player who plays as a Scrum-half and Fly-half for Clermont Auvergne. 

Although of Portuguese origin, Parra plays for Clermont Auvergne in the top 14. Besides, Parra started his professional career playing for France at 19 years of age. His first match was against Scotland in the 2008 Six Nations Championship. 

Morgan Parra
Morgan Parra

Parra is also a well-known front-line goal-kicker.

His fame skyrocketed in France after the Grand Slam. Likewise, he completed a record-breaker number of successful penalty kicks (48) in a row against Pau.

10. Michael Hooper

Australian-born Michael Hooper is a pro Rugby player and one of the highest-paid rugby players in the world.

Further, this talented union player plays as an openside flanker and captains the Australian national team. 

Michael Hooper
Michael Hooper

Talking about Hooper’s skills, he is the most capped player of all time in his country. Presently, he plays for South Wales’ Waratahs in the Super Rugby club.

Most importantly, Hooper signed to play for the Japanese Top League club Toyota Verblitz for the 2020–21 season. It was a piece of shocking news for everyone because this marked his first serious move to play domestic Rugby outside the Super Rugby. 

9. Nicolas Sanchez

Argentine Rugby union player Nicolas Sanchez is one of the highest-paid rugby players in the world. Not to mention, he is ranked 9th on the list. 

Most notably, Sanchez played at the 2011 Vodacom Cup with Pampas XV, where they won the tournament.

Nicolas Sanchez
Nicolas Sanchez

Following this, he moved to France and played from 2011 to 2014 in the Top 14.

In addition, Sanchez made headlines after scoring all 25 of Argentina’s points in the 2020 Tri-Nations Series at Western Sydney Stadium, Sydney. This made him the third highest-scoring player against New Zealand in a single match.

8. Dan Biggar 

The second Rugby union player from Wales, Daniel Biggar, is among the highest-paid rugby players to play in the international Rugby leagues. 

Biggar plays for the Northampton Saints in the Premiership. He has been selected to tour with the British and Irish Lions two times.

Dan Biggar (Source: Instagram)
Dan Biggar (Source: Instagram)

Playing as a fly-half, Biggar was selected to Captain Wales for the upcoming 2022 Six Nations. 

Biggar earned his 100th international cap in a match against Scotland in the Six Nations Championship 2022.

7. Ma’a Nonu

New Zealand native Ma’a Nonu is a professional Rugby player who plays for the national team and for the San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby. 

Ranked as one of the highest-paid rugby players, Nonu plays in the inside center, outside center, and wing positions. 

Ma’a Nonu (Source: Wikimedia)

In addition, Nonu was the key member of the All Blacks’ 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup-winning team. Not to mention, Nonu is among the only 21 players who have won the Rugby World Cup multiple times. 

Similarly, this talented union player is considered one of the greatest centers ever to enter the field.

6. Steven Luatua

Playing as a loose forward or a lock for the Bristol Bears, Steven Luatua is one of the highest-paid rugby players in the world. 

Born in New Zealand, Luatua is among the most talented Rugby union player. Also, he was an under 20 New Zealand team member who won the 2010 and 2011’s IRB Junior World Championship. 

Steven Luatua
Steven Luatua

Besides, Luatua made his debut in All Blacks with the 24-9 victory against France. As a result, he was later selected in the Rugby Championship team on the All Blacks. In his first full test against Australia, his team won with a score of 47-29. 

Luatua joined the Bristol of the English Premiership in 2017. Besides his 5 week suspension from the red card for high tackling Tim Nanai, Luatua’s 2017 season was excellent. 

5. Aaron Cruden

Seems most of the highest-paid rugby players come from New Zealand because Aaron Cruden is also a New Zealand Rugby pro player who plays for Chiefs. Cruden has also played for Montpellier and Manawatu.

Not to forget, Cruden is also on New Zealand’s national team. Talking about his professional career, Cruden made his debut in the pro league after playing for the All Blacks in a test match against Ireland.

Aaron Cruden (Source: ABC)
Aaron Cruden (Source: ABC)

Unfortunately, Cruden missed his 2015 season due to an injury. Then, he returned to the fields as the captain of the Chiefs in 2016.  

Cruden played his final test for New Zealand in the 15-15 series decider against the Lions.

4. Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau is one of the highest-paid rugby players in the world. To clarify, he is the 4th highest-paid player in the ranking.

Born in New Zealand, Piutau is a professional Rugby union player who plays as a fullback for the English club Bristol Bears. Besides, Piutau is also a former player for New Zealand’s national team. 

Charles Piutau (Source: Instagram)
Charles Piutau (Source: Instagram)

Talking about his early career, Piutau entered professional Rugby in 2010 playing for Auckland. Here, he was named the Auckland Under 20 player of the year.

Likewise, he was brought into the Blues squad for the 2012 Super Rugby season to cover injuries. Again, Piutau proved his skill in the season with two ‘man of the match’ appearances. 

3. Dan Carter 

Unlike the other Rugby players on the list, Dan Carter is a retired one. However, he cannot be excluded when it comes to being one of the highest-paid rugby players in the world. 

This New Zealand legend used to play for New Zealand’s national team and the All Blacks. Not to mention, Carter is the highest point scorer in Rugby’s test match.

Dan Carter 
Dan Carter 

Also, many experts regard him to be the greatest ever first five-eighth (fly-half) in the history of Rugby. Additionally, Carter was honored with International Rugby Board Player of the Year in 2005, 2012, and 2015.

Again, he has also won 3 Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and 9 Tri-Nations and Rugby Championships with the All Blacks. Carter was also named the man of the match in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final.

Carter released his autobiography in 2015; it was named ‘Dan Carter.’

2. Matt Giteau

Finally breaking the New Zealand streak, we have Matt Giteau, an Australian-born Rugby professional player who plays for the LA Giltinis in the Major League Rugby.

Giteau is one of the highest-paid rugby players globally and is highly respected in the Rugby industry. Although Giteau plays as a utility back, inside center, and fly-half, Giteau started his professional career as a scrum-half. 

Matt Giteau
Matt Giteau

In addition, for his first debut match in 2001, Giteau played for the ACT Brumbies. He won two Super Rugby titles with the Brumbies in the 2001 Super 12 season and the 2004 Super 12 season.

Talking of now, Giteau has appeared in more than 104 Super Rugby matches. Added to that, he has won around 103 test caps on behalf of Australia during his career. 

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1. Israel Folau

Although the New Zealand players dominate today’s list, the top two spots seem to be taken by their Australian neighbors. This is because Israel Folau ranks number one among the highest-paid rugby players ranking. 

Israel Folau professionally plays for the Shining Arcs in the Japanese Rugby League One.

Similarly, in 2019 Folau broke the record for most tries scored in Super Rugby history.

Israel Folau
Israel Folau

Talking about his early career, Folau made his first debut in the 2007 NRL season at the age of 17, playing for Melbourne Storm.

However, in 2019 Folau found himself in conflict with the administrators of Rugby Australia after his statements about what he understands the Bible to say about same-sex marriage and homosexuality. 


From the ranking, we came to find out that New Zealand dominates the highest-paid players in numbers. Also, let’s not forget that the top two spots belong to our Australian legends. 

So, out of all the talented Rugby players above, which were your favorite ones? Feel free to let us know. The comment section is all yours. 

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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