Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi take significant pay cuts with French moves – report

Jared Wright
Saracens captain Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi during an England training camp.

Both players will be earning signficantly less in France.

England internationals Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi’s salaries in the Top 14 next season have been revealed.

The pair have secured moves to the Top 14 after over a decade in the Premiership, Farrell playing all of his club rugby for Saracens.

The fly-half will link up with former England head coach Stuart Lancaster at Racing 92, while Tuilagi has decided to join Bayonne.

Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi salaries

With the two high-profile internationals heading across the Channel, French publication L’Equipe has revealed what the pair will earn in France and for Farrell, it will be a significant pay cut.

It has been reported that Farrell and Tuilagi were marquee players at Saracens and Sale Sharks, respectively, and while the Premiership club budgets are set to increase from £5 million to £6.4 million next season, the number of marquee players will drop from a maximum of two just one.

In Saracens’ case, this left them deciding between Maro Itoje or Farrell as their marquee player – whose salary does not count towards the cap – and the second-rower signed a new contract in January. He penned an enhanced Elite Player Squad (EPS) contract with the RFU and Saracens.

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The marquee players in the Premiership earn around £1 million per season – Itoje was reportedly on £800,000 a season before his new deal – and according to L’Equipe, Farrell’s move to Paris will see him earn less than he was on at Saracens.

Farrell will reportedly be paid €800,000 (£685,000) a season at Racing 92, a reduction of £315,000. It is worth noting that the report does not clarify other bonuses or benefits the club could provide for Farrell, such as housing and his children’s schooling.

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Tuilagi takes pay cut

As for Tuilagi, who turned down several French clubs in the past, he will join the ambitious Top 14 club Bayonne and is set to earn less than half of Farrell.

The report states that other contributing factors led to him deciding on Bayonne including being closer to family, with his brother Henry and nephew Posolo Tuilaigi living in Perpignan.

He is set to earn no more than €360,000 (£300,000) a season at Bayonne, which is another substantial drop if reports are to be believed.

The reduction in marquee players in the Premiership is understood to have taken some of the negotiation power away from the England stars, but while the French clubs do have bigger salary caps, they are still restricted by JIFF policies.

While Farrell made himself unavailable for England’s selection during the 2024 Six Nations, his and Tuilagi’s move to France will make them ineligible for Steve Borthwick’s side in the future.

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