This article reviews the salaries of LA Giltinis rugby players in Major League Rugby.
We acknowledge that wages are private between players and the franchise. Clubs rarely put the figures into the public domain.
However, information leaks out in the small rugby circles of Rugby Union in the U.S. We’ve gathered all the details from credible sources.
How Do LA Giltinis Rugby Players Get Paid?
Before we examine the numbers, let’s review different ways that players earn their total income.
Monthly club wages may just be part of the total. The player’s full earnings for the year may come from several sources.
Some players in the squad will only be compensated with club wages. The other options on the list below will apply to a subset within the LA squad.
- Monthly club wages
- Subsidized travel e.g. cars or e-bikes
- Subsidized rent
- Help with finding part-time employment
- Part-time coaching
- International match fees (these are not paid by the Texas franchise)
Wallaby legend Matt Giteau caused a bit of online stir when pictures emerged of him driving to training on a top-of-the-range e-bike. He was dressed in swim shorts and sunglasses!
Several players have been seen on these bikes. My guess is that they’re not paying showroom price!
Younger players often choose to share accommodation arranged through the franchise. They can take a room in a large house and pay low rent.
It’s a popular choice for young overseas players without families.
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 LA Giltinis also owns an international gym franchise. You may have heard rumors that his players get handed a gym franchise. This isn’t the case.
I don’t know any LA player who runs an F45 gym. In fact, the only MLR player that I’ve seen promote an F45 gym is Jeff Hassler at the Seattle Seawolves!
Experienced players can also take part-time coaching roles.
Legendary Wallaby winger Adam Ashley-Cooper has moved into a full-time coaching role from a season of playing with the Giltinis.
Before hanging up his playing boots, AAC was also doing some part-time coaching with the LA franchise.
Different Categories Of Players In The Squad
If you check out our general round-up of player earnings in Major League Rugby, you’ll see that the star players can earn up to $45K.
LA Giltinis has a few seasoned internationals who fit the bill. I’d expect Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau and Canadian winger DTH Van Der Merwe to be on the $45,000 level.
Senior and mid-level players
The AGs also have players from Australia, South Africa, and Ireland who have many years of experience in their domestic leagues.
However, they didn’t pick up many international caps past underage level. These are valuable senior players who aren’t at the marquee level.
Some seasoned American internationals like Luke Carty are also at this senior or mid-level range.
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 LA Giltinis Players Get Paid?
Star rugby players at LA Giltinis earn up to a capped maximum of $45K per season.
Senior players earn from $20K to $30K.
Mid-range players with several years experience earn from $10K to $20K.
Part-time players at the LA franchise 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.
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 LA Giltinis 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 their 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.
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.
How Does LA Giltinis Afford The Player Salaries?
You may be wondering if the match-day gate receipts at the colosseum 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 LA Giltinis.
How Does LA Giltinis Compare With Clubs In Other Countries?
There are a lot of Australian players at the Giltinis. Check out our article on how much rugby players earn in Australia.
Luke Carty’s brother Matt has been capped for Ireland and plays for Connacht. Check out how much Connacht rugby players earn.