Rugby originated as one of the several versions of football played in England during the early 19th century. Originally known as rugby football, the full-contact team sport split into the league and union codes in 1895. The rugby league, consisting of 13 players in each team, is governed by the “Rugby League International Federation”, whereas the rugby union is played between two teams of 15 players each, and it’s highest governing body is the “International Rugby Union”. Out of the two, the rugby union has become increasingly popular over the years, and rugby as a whole has often been cited as the toughest, most physically demanding of team sports.
Many people think rugby is not that popular a sport around the world, and it gets attention only during the Rugby World Cup, the Six Nations Championship or the Rugby Championship. Well, rugby (league) is among the most popular sports in England, Australia, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. Countries like Fiji, Madagascar, Wales, New Zealand, Georgia, Samoa and Tonga have adopted rugby (union) as their de facto national sport. Rugby union is played in over 100 countries worldwide, and the IRB has over 100 full members and 18 associate members.
Rugby’s major domestic competitions include the Top 14 in France, the Currie Cup in South Africa, the English Premiership in England and the ITM Cup in New Zealand. These competitions are always tough, and to win the league the clubs in these domestic competitions are paying players high salaries to motivate them maintain their peak performance. But, rugby players do not usually earn as high as the top, most successful players involved in Football (Soccer), Tennis, Baseball, Golf or many other sports.
Below is a list of the top 10 players who are being paid the most money in the French Top 14 League, and ultimately they are the highest-paid rugby players in the world. Clubs like Toulon, Racing Metro and a few others in the league have been spending big on players, and many of their big names are earning high figures. Without further ado, here we take a look at the top 10 highest-paid rugby players in the world.
10. Matt Giteau – Toulon – €40,000 (~$54,600 USD) per month
Matt Giteau is an Australian rugby union footballer who currently plays for the French Top 14 side Toulon. His usual playing positions are inside center, fly-half and halfback, although he started his career as a scrum-half. He made his debut for the ACT Brumbies in 2001 and the Wallabies in 2002. He was nominated for the International Rugby Board Player of the Year Award in 2004. During his career, Giteau gained 92 Test caps for Australia and 61 Super Rugby caps. After not being selected for the Australian squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the 31-year-old signed a contract with Toulon in mid-November, 2011 for a monthly salary of €40,000.