RWC 2023: A Look at the Million Rand Salaries of Springboks Handre Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe & 3 Others

RWC 2023: A Look at the Million Rand Salaries of Springboks Handre Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe & 3 Others

  • The Springboks are set to face off against New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup 2023 finals match on Saturday, 28 October
  • Handre Pollard is the highest-paid rugby player in the world and will be on the bench for the match between England and the Springboks
  • Briefly News takes a look at what Rugby World Cup players Pollard, Siya Kolisi, Cheslin Kolbe, Eben Etzebeth and Faf de Klerk earn a year

The Springboks have made it to the Rugby World Cup finals! South Africans are sporting their green and gold supporter jerseys, singing "Hier kom die Bokke" in unison. Our spirits are high and fierce like the braai fires ignited in every rugby lover's home on Saturday, 21 October.

Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi and Faf de Klerk are amongst the highest-paid Springboks included in the RWC 2023 squad.
Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi and Faf de Klerk are set to face off against Scotland in the first RWC 2023 match. Photo credit: @bokrugby.
Source: Instagram

If we win this match, the Bokke raise the RWC trophy for the second time in a row. In honour of our boys, Briefly News looks at the five highest-paid Bok players in the RWC 2023 Springbok squad.

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Siya Kolisi is reportedly worth R35 million

Siya Kolisi became a symbol of hope when he led the Springboks to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the first black Bok captain. His success landed Kolisi opportunities that many aspiring young rugby players can put on their dream boards.

Following his RWC 2019 success, Kolisi signed a deal with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports International. The skipper has made major career moves ever since, most recently moving to France to join Racing 92.

Kolisi amassed an impressive net worth with his success as an international rugby player. According to The South African, the 31-year-old Bok captain is worth a staggering R35 million.

Kolisi's annual income reached R15 million through endorsement deals and his role as the Springboks' captain. He led the Sharks in the Currie Cup and had partnerships with global giants like Jay-Z's Rock Nation Sports, MTN, Adidas, Land Rover and other local brands. As a board member of MyPlayers Rugby, overseeing pro players, he accumulated a net worth of R35 million by 2022.

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Faf de Klerk earns more than R21 million annually reported scrumhalf Faf de Klerk boasts an annual salary of R21 million. When he's not sporting the green and gold jersey, De Klerk plays for the Yokohama Canon Eagles.

De Klerk left the Sale Sharks due to the Premiership's salary cap constraints alongside Lood de Jager. Initially bound for NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes, he ended up joining the Canon Eagles.

RugbyPass reported the scrumhalf's estimated annual salary of over £900 000 at the Japanese club makes him one of the world's highest-paid players.

Eben Etzebeth earns R18.34 million at Toulon annually

According to RugbyPass, Eben Etzebeth laughed all the way to the bank with an annual paycheck of R18.34 million during his stint at Toulon.

The giant lock moved back to SA after signing a five-year deal with the Sharks.

Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee shared how the Durban-based rugby club managed to secure Etzebeth, particularly considering that SA franchises had a R65.5 million player salary cap that year.

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Coetzee said:

“For one, Eben wanted to come back to South Africa, and we presented a plan that incorporated what he can hope to achieve both on and off the field at the Sharks. It was a holistic plan that I think counted in our favour. And of course there are a few of his national teammates at the Sharks, and I’m sure that helped as well.”

Cheslin Kolbe earns R19 million a year

In 2023, Cheslin Kolbe joined Suntory Sungoliath in the Japan Rugby League One. The move reportedly secured him a R22 million annual salary, according to Before leaving Toulon to play for the Japanese team, Kolbe was said to have turned down a whopping R55 million deal from the Stormers in 2022.

According to reports, the Cape Town-based team offered Kolbe a five-year contract and employment for his wife. Kolbe, like Siya Kolisi, also joined Jay ZZ'sRoc Nation following the 2019 World Cup - a tournament for which the 29-year-old's performance received a lot of praise.

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Handre Pollard is the highest-paid South African rugby player

Handre Pollard is the richest SA rugby player with an annual salary of R23 million. The Leicester Tigers star was initially left out of the squad for the RWC 2023 tournament after sustaining an injury several months ago. However, after our kicking game cost us the match against Ireland earlier on in the RWC tournament, Pollard was called up to join the Boks in the following match.

How much does a Springbok rugby player earn per game?

There are established standard fees for international athletes, but the precise compensation allocated to Springbok players is undisclosed.

In the 2019 World Cup, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) granted bonuses to players who advanced to the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds. Briefly News previously reported that each player who participated in these three matches received an approximate payout of R1.3 million.

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South Africa Rugby World Cup squad 2023 – team to face England

Handre Pollard to start for Springboks against New Zealand:

Handre Pollard will kick off the RWC final sporting the number 10 Springboks jersey. Interestingly enough, Manie Libbok wasn't even named in the squad taking on the All Blacks on 28 October.

Faf de Klerk was also named in the starting line-up by Jacques Nienaber earlier this week.

The Springboks line-up is:

15 Damian Willemse,

14 Kurt-Lee Arendse,

13 Jesse Kriel,

12 Damian de Allende,

11 Cheslin Kolbe,

10 Handre Pollard,

9 Faf de Klerk,

8 Duane Vermeulen,

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit,

6 Siya Kolisi (captain),

5 Franco Mostert,

4 Eben Etzebeth,

3 Frans Malherbe,

2 Bongi Mbonambi,

1 Steven Kitshoff


16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Jasper Wiese, 23 Willie le Roux.

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RWC 2023: TikTok video of unseen angle of Cheslin Kolbe’s match-winning defence moment delights SA

There were three defining moments in last week's RWC clash against France: Handre Pollard kicking from within their own territory, Eben Etzebeth bulldozing over the French side to score a try and Cheslin Kolbe's charge down.

This week, Briefly News reported on a video that went viral on TikTok, showing an unseen angle of Kolbe's speedy charge down.

The clip was posted by the Rugby World Cup's account and captioned:

"A match winning moment from Cheslin Kolbe."

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Source: Briefly News

Maryn Blignaut avatar

Maryn Blignaut (Human-Interest HOD) Maryn Blignaut is the Human Interest manager and feature writer. She holds a BA degree in Communication Science, which she obtained from the University of South Africa in 2016. She joined the Briefly - South African News team shortly after graduating and has over six years of experience in the journalism field. Maryn passed the AFP Digital Investigation Techniques course (Google News Initiative), as well as a set of trainings for journalists by Google News Initiative. You can reach her at: