The lucrative attraction of the Northern Hemisphere has lured in many of the world’s biggest rugby stars, and with some of the game’s greatest athletes heading to the French and English leagues following the conclusion of the forthcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup, the Telegraph has rounded up the biggest earners out there.
Check out the list below:
1. Dan Carter – £1-million (R17.7-million)
The legendary New Zealand fly-half will become the world’s highest-paid player after agreeing to join big-spending Racing Métro following next year’s World Cup.
2. Matt Giteau – £700,000 (R12.4-million)
Following interest from Racing Métro, Giteau instead signed a lucrative new contract worth £700,000 a season at Toulon in September 2014.
3. Leigh Halfpenny – £600,000 (R10.6-million)
Halfpenny left Cardiff Blues in January 2014 after agreeing a record deal with Toulon that saw him become the highest-paid Welshman of all time.
4. Sam Burgess – £500,000 (R8.9-million)
The former rugby league star agreed a switch of codes in February 2014 after Bath agreed to pay £500,000 to release the Englishman from the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
5. Jonny Sexton – £494,000 (R8.8-million)
The Racing Métro fly-half is the highest-paid Irishman and though plying his trade in the Top 14, will return to Leinster at the end of the season.
6. Bryan Habana – £474,000 (R8.4-million)
Following spells at Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, Western Province and Stormers the powerful wing settled at Toulon where he earns almost £500,000 a year.
7. Morgan Parra – £436,000 (R7.6-million)
Parra, the Clermont-Auvergne scrum-half, is the highest-paid French player in the world and remains a darling to the French media and public.
8. Thierry Dusautoir – £408,000 (R7.2-million)
Now in the twilight of his career, the 33-year-old flanker has been linked with a move to Leicester – where he can expect to take a pay cut.
9. Bakkies Botha – £390,000 (R6.9-million)
The Springboks hardman signed a huge deal with Toulon in 2011, though the high-spending Top 14 club has since handed out more lucrative deals.
10. Jamie Roberts – £380.000 (R6.7-million)
Though earning a tidy sum of money at Racing Métro, the centre is rumoured to be heading back to Wales where he is expected to rejoin Cardiff Blues.