How Much Do Rugby League Players Get Paid?

As of 2015, rugby league players, such as the top 25 players in the National Rugby League (NRL), can earn substantial yearly salaries up to $5.5 million; players in the league outside the top 25 can earn a base salary of $440,000 annually, and the top 20 players in the Holden Cup earn annual salaries up to $250,000. Rugby players, like players in some other sports leagues, have caps on their allotted base salaries. These caps put a limit on the amount of direct income players can earn, although they may receive supplementary income, sometimes several hundred thousand dollars, from other sources.

For the top 25 players in the NRL, the base salary of up to $5.5 million includes an allowance, the Sponsor Serving Allowance, that contributes up to $5.3 million of each player’s salary. Players receive this money as compensation for playing, along with making public appearances and participating in endorsements.

Other sources of income may include a Long Serving Player Allowance, which can add up to $200,000 to players’ salaries, provided they have served the League for a minimum of 8 years. Rugby players can receive income for personal purchases, including up to $100,000 for cars. They can receive unlimited amounts of money from corporate sponsors, and receive financial assistance for education, medical expenses, housing and more.