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05th May 2017

Your favourite rugby player is earning a lot less than you’d think

Same goes for Dan Carter and the lads

Patrick McCarry

Forget what you’ve read in the newspapers or online. That’s according to former Ireland rugby star Ronan O’Gara, at least.

The top rugby players are earning a decent wedge but it won’t be enough to see them put the feet up after they retire. Earlier this week, Midi Olympique published a list of rugby’s top earners.

During a fascinating discussion about player contracts on The Hard Yards [from 21:00 below], O’Gara laid out some home truths about rugby’s rich-lists and about what players are realistically earning.

Midi has Dan Carter at £1.27m per season with Matt Giteau [£593k], Duane Vermeulen, Rabah Slimani and Leigh Halfpenny [£509k] and five other Top 14 stars on £424k in their Top 10.

“You’re making the crucial error there of believing Midi Olympique,” O’Gara said.

“I don’t think you should believe what you read in the papers. I really don’t.”

“For example, Dan is on a great salary but how much of that is earned off the pitch [with sponsors and corporate commitments]?”