This article reviews the salaries of Austin Gilgronis rugby players in the MLR.
It’s true that salaries are private contracts between the franchise and the players. Clubs rarely go public with the details.
However, information leaks out in the small circles of Rugby Union in Texas. We’ve collected and reviewed all the details from credible sources.
How Do Austin Gilgronis Rugby Players Get Paid?
Before we take a deep dive into the figures, we’ll look at the different ways that players earn their annual income.
Monthly club wages may just be part of the story. A player’s full income can come from several sources.
Note that some players on the roster are only compensated with wages. The other options on this list will only apply to a selection of players in the Austin squad.
- Monthly club wages
- Part-time coaching
- Rent subsidies
- Help with finding part-time employment
- International match fees (these are not paid by the Texas franchise)
Experienced players can also take part-time coaching roles. The AGs have had at least two player-coaches on the roster.
Jamie Mackintosh (Whoppa) is a former All Black with a long career in Super Rugby. He both plays at loosehead prop and is also employed as a coach by Gilgronis.
His fellow former All Black Isaac Ross is also a player-coach. The lock provides lineout coaching to his teammates.
Younger players often choose to share accommodation arranged through the franchise. They can take a room in a large house and live nearly rent-free near the training facilities.
This is similar to arrangements for academy players in the professional clubs in England and Ireland. Especially so in the clubs in the large expensive cities.
Helping with part-time employment
The MLR competition lasts seven months. Many players will work a second job during the off-season.
Some of the younger players may also take part-time jobs that can fit around their rugby training requirements.
The owner of the Gilgronis also owns an international gym franchise. You may have heard rumors that AG players get handed a gym franchise. This isn’t the case.
Different Categories Of Players In The Squad
If you check out our general overview of salaries in Major League Rugby, you’ll see that the star players can earn up to $45K.
But that level of pay is for a select few. There are several categories of players at Austin Gilgronis.
Austin Gilgronis has a few seasoned internationals from New Zealand who fit the bill.
I’d expect former All Blacks Jamie Mackintosh and Isaac Ross to be on the $45,000 level.
As I mentioned earlier, both players also coach at the Austin franchise. This allows the club to further supplement their salaries.
The AGs also have players from South Africa and Australia who have many years of experience in their domestic leagues.
However, they didn’t pick up a lot of international caps past underage level. These are valuable senior players who aren’t at the marquee level.
Some seasoned American internationals are also at this senior level.
Below the senior level, you’ll find the -range players who are plenty of experience in the United States and other countries in the second tier of World Rugby.
Finally, the squad is supplemented by several players who aren’t on monthly wages. Instead, they get paid part-time for training hours and match time.
Now we’ve explained the levels, let’s take a look at the numbers.
What Do Austin Gilgronis Players Get Paid?
Star rugby players at Austin Gilgronis earn up to a capped maximum of $45K per season.
Senior players earn from $25K-$30K.
Mid-range players with several years experience earn $14K-$20K.
Less experienced players earn about $10K.
Part-time players are on a pay-to-play basis at minimum wage.
These salaries may seem low if you are familiar with contracts in other countries. I’ll give you some comparisons at the end of this article.
Did Covid Impact Salaries At Old Glory?
The 2020/21 Major League Rugby season was shortened due to Covid restrictions. The tournament was canceled five weeks into the season.
It’s a credit to the league that all the franchises paid their players for the season despite the shutdown.
In many other countries, professional clubs negotiated with their players to take a 10-25% pay cut.
Cynics might point out that the salaries are very low in the MLR already.
But that doesn’t mean that the franchise owners shouldn’t get credit for treating their players well in a tough time for everybody.
The Salary Cap In Major League Rugby
MLR franchises are not allowed to exceed an agreed cap on the total salaries for their squad. The level is currently $500K.
Any franchise can increase its cap by participating in a set of player and community development activities.
It’s been confirmed that Austin Gilgronis hit the targets laid out by MLR.
This is largely due to their academy that gives a pathway for players to grow towards a professional rugby contract.
Meeting the development targets means that the ATL cap increases by $250K.
Note that the extra budget can’t go directly on player salaries. But the club can play extra income to players who are also coaching at the development and youth levels.
How Does Austin Gilgronis Afford The Player Salaries?
You may be wondering if the match-day gate receipts in Austin are enough to cover player salaries. The answer is that they’re not.
The owner of the MLR franchise is an Australian entrepreneur with a global gym franchise. This helps with the budget!
You can read more in our article on the ownership of Austin Gilgronis.
How Does Austin Gilgronis Compare With Clubs In Other Countries?
There are several Kiwis in the setup. Check out our article on how much rugby players earn in New Zealand.
Alongside the New Zealanders, there are several players from Oz. Check out our article on how much rugby players earn in Australia.
Keeping with the theme of southern hemisphere countries, we have an overview of how much rugby players earn in South Africa.