• Go North Young Man in Pursuit of Rugby Riches

    What do you do after growing up in New Zealand, learning to play rugby in a country that seems to do little other than groom the world’s top players, and then looking to turn your skill into the best possible financial remuneration?

    Head to France of course and get a job playing in the Top 14.

    Dan Carter did something along those lines, earning $NZ2 million playing for Racing 92. He is done with his three-year commitment to the French league. Now, he intends to head to Japan to fulfill his hankering for the yen.

    Racing 92 did not get the full value for Carter, as the top earner in Top 14 has been battling an assortment of injuries of the type that could reasonably be expected of a 36-year-old rugby player. He missed the Champions Cup final with a balky hamstring and is trying to get ready for the French club playoffs.

    Another Kiwi by the name of Aaron Cruden is second best to Carter, earning $NZ 1.36 for his work for Montpellier.

    Toulon centre Malakai Fekitoa is the fourth highest player in Top 14, playing on a contract that pays him $NZ1.02 million.

    Rugby in France is serious business and has shown serious growth, with Midi Olympique estimating that player salaries over the past 10 years have doubled, with the average per month in the realm of $35,000.

    There is some money to be made playing for the Poms, too, as former All Blacks outside back Charles Piutau plays form Bristol for the princely sum of $1.9 million per year.

    Europe is not a great place to be if you choose to play prop, however, as you would need to scrape by on $18,000 a month. Learn to play loose forward, where you can get something in the area of $50,000 per month, provided your performance is better than average.