Flyhalf Handre Pollard is said to be the biggest earner in world rugby at the moment and has, along with fellow Boks, Eben Etzebeth and Faf de Klerk, been included in the highest-paid XV.
According to a Ruck.co.uk compilation of the world’s best-earning XV, Pollard tops the list with a paycheck of around R20-million per annum from French club Montpellier, a total only equalled by that of All Blacks wing Charles Piutau, who plays for the Bristol Bears in England.
Etzebeth is the next best earner, with an estimated R18m income at mega French side Toulon, while England lock Maro Itoje and former All Blacks skipper Kieran Read complete the top five with payday figures roughly around R16.5m and R16m at Saracens and Toyota Verblitz, respectively.
Of those on the list, Suntory Sungoliath’s Beauden Barrett and Racing 92’s Virimi Vakatawa come in as the joint sixth-highest earners with R15.6m each, while De Klerk is ranked 11th with an estimated R12m income.
Highest paid XV
15 – Beauden Barrett (R15.6m, Suntory Sungoliath)
14 – Charles Piutau (R20m, Bristol Bears)
13 – Virimi Vakatawa (R15.6m, Racing 92)
12 – Owen Farrell (R15m, Saracens)
11 – Stuart Hogg (R11m, Exeter Chiefs)
10 – Handre Pollard (R20m, Montpellier)
9 – Faf de Klerk (R12m, Sale Sharks)
8 – Kieran Read (R16m, Toyota Verblitz)
7 – Steven Luatua (R13m, Bristol Bears)
6 – Michael Hooper (R15m, Toyota Verblitz)
5 – Maro Itoje (R16.5m, Saracens)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (R18m, Toulon)
3 – Tadhg Furlong (R9.6m, Leinster)
2 – Guilhem Guirado (R10m, Montpellier)
1 – Mako Vunipola (R9m, Saracens)
Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets