The 10 highest paid NRL players for the 2020 season

Australia might not be the birthplace of Rugby League, but it is certainly the financial capital with huge money flying around the sport down under. Because of this, they are attracting all the best talent both domestically and from overseas, with each NRL club given a whopping $9.8 million base salary cap for the 2020 season.

This has resulted in a number of high profile players taking home some serious cheques every month, with the NRL’s transfer merry-go-round in full swing as we speak. It has become the norm for the top stars in the NRL to be given contracts that run into seven-figure territory, something that didn’t seem possible only a decade ago.

After rising by just over $750k from 1998 to 2010, the NRL’s cap has jumped an astonishing $5.8m since and will rise to $10m by 2022. While everyone in the game has reaped the benefits of this, it appears the players are the biggest winners. The top stars in the NRL are celebrated in Australia like other celebrities, with an exceptional ability on the pitch often coinciding with fame and a huge salary off it.

The game’s rise over the last 10 years is a result of superb marketing, with the NRL attracting huge sponsorships and TV deals both at home and overseas. The betting industry has played a key role in that, with leading brands across the world helping to promote the competition. This has made the NRL one of the most popular leagues to bet on, with many media outlets providing tips and offers, for example when Betfred are giving away free bets, so you know where to put your money.

As the game becomes more popular, and in turn richer, so do the players who themselves have attracted huge sponsorship deals. While this has added greatly to their fortune, we are going to focus on the players that currently have the highest-paying yearly contracts from their club. The list below, reveals the 10 highest paid NRL players in 2020, based on information from experts at Zero Tackle and Fox Sports.

1. Daly Cherry-Evans

Contract expiration year – 2023

Team – Manly Sea Eagles

Salary per annum – $1.3 million

2. Kieran Foran

Contract expiration year – 2021

Team – Canterbury Bulldogs

Salary per annum – $1.2 Million

3. Ben Hunt

Contract expiration year – 2022

Team – St George Illawarra Dragons

Salary per annum – $1.2 million

4. Cameron Smith

Contract expiration year – 2020

Team – Melbourne Storm

Salary per annum – $1.1 million

5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Contract expiration year – 2022

Team – New Zealand Warriors

Salary per annum – $1.1 million

6. James Tedesco

Contract expiration year – 2022

Team – Sydney Roosters

Salary per annum – $1 million

7. Mitchell Pearce

Contract expiration year – 2022

Team – Newcastle Knights

Salary per annum – $1 million

8. Ash Taylor

Contract expiration year – 2021

Team – Gold Coast Titans

Salary per annum – $1 million

9. Shaun Johnson

Contract expiration year – 2022

Team – Cronulla Sharks

Salary per annum – $1 million

10. Jason Taumalolo

Contract expiration year – 2027

Team – North Queensland Cowboys

Salary per annum – $950,000

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