There's more to rugby than big men in little shorts. Most of the time it's about making some serious money as well - because when you're an international athlete, you can be sure your bank account reflects your elevated status at the same time. They may not be making as many bajillions each year as football players do, but rugby players won't be begging on the side of the street anytime soon - not if these top 10 richest rugger players' salaries are anything to go by. One thing's for sure, if you want to start making anything like the same kind of money, it's either play the lottery, or learn how to throw a ball backwards. Really really well.
If you know your Welsh players then you know Jamie Roberts - a rugby player from Newport in Wales, United Kingdom, who has featured prominently in the Welsh national Under-16, Under-19, and Under-21 teams to date. Despite being so busy on the field, he's still found time to receive a medical degree - meaning he can tackle you to the ground, and then strap you up afterwards.
The lean, mean fighting machine from South Africa, John Philip Botha, more commonly known as Bakkies Botha, is a towering 202 cm of strength, one who can often get carried away in the heat of the moment. Currently playing lock for French side RC Toulonnais of Toulon, France, Bakkies was banned from the Tri-Nations tournament in 2010 after head-butting a player on the opposing side during a game against New Zealand. Don't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
Originally hailing from Côte d’Ivoire, Thierry Dusautoir currently plays for Toulouse in the French Top 14 Rugby Union League. Although he showed an early aptitude for Judo, he eventually moved to rugby at the age of 16 and stayed there, becoming France's second player ever to be named International Player of the Year, when he took top honours in 2011.
Another highly successful French player, 21-year-old Morgan Parra became an overnight sensation when he helped steer France towards a Six Nations Grand Slam victory in 2010. As thanks, Parra went on to receive highly paid endorsements and a hugely inflated salary to match - a far cry from the usual entry-level packages paid to other 21-year-olds.
If you're playing against South Africa, pray you don't come across Bryan Habana, known as one of the most lethal wingers in the game today. Currently the Springbok record-holder for the most tries scored during the 2011 World Cup, Habana once took on a cheetah to see who could run the fastest. The cheetah won, but you still don’t want Habana running you down during a game - chances are you'll make close, personal contact with the field every time.
Want to see who makes the top 5 of the world's richest rugby players? Check back next time as we count down all the way to number one - and in the meantime, stand a chance to win 5 FREE USA MegaMillions tickets!!!
Let us know in the comments section below who you think will be number 1 in the list of the richest rugby players. We'll pick one lucky winner who will be that little bit closer to living like a sports star!
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