Five richest rugby players

Date published: May 10 2016

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The money in rugby pales in comparison to some of the world's other top sports, and because of this even the top player's wages aren't the headline grabbing sums that football or tennis pros receive.

Despite this, rugby players still generate impressive incomes, and we've compiled a list of the 5 highest paid rugby players around, and number 1 might well surprise you.

5. Ma'a Nonu

Described by All Blacks World Cup winning coach Graham Henry as the best New Zealand linebreaker, Nonu earns £600k a year thanks to a lucrative contract with his club, the Highlanders.

4. Leigh Halfpenny

Halfpenny's switch from the Cardiff Blues to Toulon made him the best paid Welshman of all time (in rugby at least). He has recently been tipped to return to Wales, but would have to take a significant pay cut, and has opted against a return so far.

He has the distinction of being the 3rd highest points scorer of all time for Wales, behind Neil Jenkins and Stephen Jones.

3. Matt Giteau

After high-profile interest from Racing 92, Giteau eventually committed his future to Toulon, signing a very lucrative £900k contract. The experienced fly-half / inside-centre is the 3rd best player in the game, despite being a seasoned veteran in the game.

2. Dan Carter

After making the switch to Parisian club Racing Metro, Dan Carter became the world's best paid rugby player, thanks to the €1.5 million a year contract.

Considered by many to be the greatest fly-half in the history of the game, Carter's domestic and international exploits make him one of the most valuable players in the game.

1. Ayumu Goromaru

The Japanese fullback is now the best paid rugby player in the world, thanks to a range of sponsorship deals and his salary at Australia's Queensland Reds.

Goromaru made a name for himself during the famous 2015 Rugby World Cup match between Japan and South Africa, which has been described as the greatest upset in the history of Rugby Union. Scoring one try, two conversions and no less than five penalties he was instrumental in Japan's victory. 

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