Following Cheslin Kolbe’s record-breaking move from Toulouse to Toulon last week, we look at the top-five biggest transfers fees in rugby.
Kolbe’s mega move to Toulon will have him earn an annual salary of €1 million (R17.5m) but, with two years left on his Toulouse contract, his new club had to fork out a record-breaking fee to buy him out.
With that in mind, here are the five biggest rugby transfers in history.
1. Cheslin Kolbe – £1.5m
Last week, Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre confirmed the club had signed Cheslin Kolbe from Top 14 rivals Toulouse in a deal reportedly costing €1.8m (£1.5m) million to buy him out of his contract.
2. Louis Picamoles – £1.2m
The France No 8 left Northampton Saints to join Montpellier after just one season at Franklin’s Gardens for a record transfer fee worth £1.2m, the Guardian reported in 2017. The 31-year-old was under increasing pressure to return to the Top 14 with the French Rugby Federation (FFR) seeking to tie its leading internationals down to central contracts.
3. Va’aiga Tuigamala – £1m
In 1997, the ambitious Falcons signed the powerhouse from Wigan in a deal worth £1m ahead of the first professional Premiership season. Long story short, alongside the likes of Pat Lam and Jonny Wilkinson, Tuigamala starred as Newcastle won the title.