Sam Tomkins explains why Super League players leave for the NRL as he reveals staggering pay difference

Sam Tomkins has played in both the Super League and the NRL.

A serial winner in Super League, especially in his days at Wigan Warriors, he has seen plenty of top stars who he has played with and against leave the competition for the NRL as he did at the end of 2013.

Speaking on the Big Jim Show, Tomkins opened up on this and why more players are being swayed to the NRL instead of to rugby union which was once a big temptation for players like Chris Ashton and Kyle Eastmond.

“To be honest I don’t know the reason,” Tomkins said of why league players aren’t going over to union, “I don’t actually think the Sam Burgess thing will have affected it. It’s just the right players haven’t been available at the right times.

“There is more players going from Super League to the NRL. When players are going to Union, money is a factor because players are going to Union are getting a pay rise. Well now they can go to the NRL and get an even bigger pay rise.

“So anyone driven by money will go down there.”

He went further and explained the cost implications of why more Super League players are going to the NRL.

“A top earner in Super League would be on £300,000 to £350,000 a year whilst in the NRL there are players on a million dollars a years which is pretty much double the English,” he said.

“In the NRL they have a minimum wage of $125,000 which is about £75,000 and there are a lot of players in Super League not on that, a lot.

“As a young player this is getting over £30,000 to play fulltime in Super League, someone who is not really valued but they could go to the NRL and just be in a squad and be earning more than that.

“Players offered £50-60 grand could go on the other side of the world and earn more than that.”

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