An influential pair of World Cup-winning Springboks are reportedly among the 10 highest earners at France 2023.
According to a list compiled by WalesOnline, Cheslin Kolbe and Handre Pollard are both earning upwards of R10 million per season from their respective clubs, putting them among the highest-paid players competing at rugby’s showpiece event this year.
Calculated from their salaries for the 2022-23 season and the upcoming 2023-24 campaign, Kolbe (R20.9m) is the third-best earner following his much-publicised move to Japanese outfit Suntory Sungoliath, while Pollard’s R14.2m earnings accrued playing for English club Leicester Tigers since 2022 puts him at ninth spot.
Pocket-rocket Kolbe played a pivotal role for the Boks in winning the 2019 World Cup and the British & Irish Lions series victory in 2021, and his ability to change the game with a single run or a dazzling step have become a source of inspiration for fans worldwide.
It was at Japan 2019 that Pollard came into his own, finishing on top of the point-scorers list with 69 as the Boks claimed their record-equalling third title. The veteran flyhalf made a successful return for the Springboks against Tonga last week. It was Pollard’s first Test since last August 2022, having originally been left out of the 33-player squad due to a calf injury.
England’s Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje also make the cut, alongside Tadhg Furlong of Ireland, Steven Luatua from Samoa, France skipper Antoine Dupont, Dan Biggar of Wales, Tonga’s Charles Piutau, and Scotland’s Finn Russell.
WalesOnline’s Top 10 highest paid players at France 2023
1. Finn Russell (R23.2m, Racing)
2. Charles Piutau (R23.2m, Bristol Bears)
3. Cheslin Kolbe (R20.9m, Suntory Sungoliath)
4. Maro Itoje (R18.6m, Saracens)
5. Dan Bigger (R18.6m, Toulon)
6. Owen Farrell (R18.6m, Saracens)
7. Antoine Dupont (R16.3m, Toulouse)
8. Steven Luatua (R14.4m, Bristol Bears)
9. Handre Pollard (R14.2m, Leicester Tigers)
10. Tadhg Furlong (R14m, Leinster)
Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images