How Much Does Mako Vunipola Earn? (2022)

Mako Vunipola signed his first contract with Saracens in 2011 and his latest in 2021.

This article looks at Mako Vunipola’s salary. We’ll examine his current rugby contract, and what factors led to his ability to negotiate his high value.

We’ll look at how he compares with teammates at his club and with the players in the same position in other Premiership clubs.

What Is Mako Vunipola’s Current Salary?

Mako Vunipola’s salary is currently about £360K at Saracens. This is three times the average Premiership salary.

Vunipola extended his contract in late 2020 to run up to mid-2023. He is entering the final stage of his career but should command several more contracts of high value.

To put his age into context, Vunipola was born in 1991. He is approaching the average retirement age for props in the Premiership, which is thirty-five.

However, props are often considered to be coming into their prime in their early thirties. After all, the gradual loss of pace doesn’t affect their value as it does a winger.

Instead, the accumulated experience of the dark arts in the front row can bring a premium in value.

We expect him to negotiate at least two more contracts, whether with Saracens or not.

There have been persistent rumours over several years that linked Mako to a move to France. Bordeaux Begles is reputed to be very interested in both Vunipola brothers.

However, both Mako and Billy extended with Saracens at the same time in December 2020.

How Does Vunipola Compare To Other Players?

It’s worth looking at two different comparisons:

  1. How Mako Vunipola compares to other players at his club.
  2. how Mako Vunipola compares to other locks in England.

Let’s start with the club.

Is Mako Vunipola the highest-paid player at Saracens?

Saracens are known to be big spenders so you may have already guessed that Mako Vunipola’s salary isn’t the highest at the club.

Maro Itoje earns more than double the prop forward. But Itoje also earns more than most players in the Premiership!

And it’s not just forwards who are valued at the club. Owen Farrell also earns more than double Vunipola’s salary.

You can check out more details in these articles:

How does Vunipola compare to other front rows in England?

Let’s hear it for the front row union, they can never be paid enough (they told me to say that).

Mako Vunipola is the highest-earning member of the front row in the Premiership. He reputedly earns about £20K more than the next highest, Joe Marler.

Both are several years older than Ellis Genge. This often adds value to a prop forward. Genge earns about £35K less than Vunipola.

And what about tighthead props? Logovi’i Mulipola is estimated to be on £180K, which is considerably lower. But Kyle Sinckler is on a higher salary than Mako.

You can check out more details in these articles:

What Factors Contribute To Mako Vunipola’s High Salary?

In our overview of player earnings in English rugby, we estimate that the average salary in the Premiership is about £120K per year.

That level of pay can be expected by the many experienced players in the Premiership who never quite made it to international level.

But Vunipola got his first cap for England in 2012. He has accumulated well over sixty caps since then.

England

Vunipola was twenty-one when he made his test debut for England. He came on to replace Joe Marler.

That was the start of a tussle for starting position over many years. Vunipola was first choice for a few years until the arrival of Ellis Genge brought more competition for top spot.

British & Irish Lions

lions badge

Vunipola is a three-time Lions tourist, which is very rare indeed. His first Lions tour was to Australia in 2013 and had one test start and two appearances from the bench.

He was first choice for the tests in 2017 in New Zealand. On his third tour, he started in the second test and came off the bench in the other two matches.

Selection for the Lions can be used as leverage in contract negotiations. A good tour makes players more attractive to other clubs and increases value significantly.

Position

Position on the field is another factor that plays a major part in player salaries.

Esportif are sports agents who publish statistics for which positions earn the most in the Premiership. This is the list in descending order:

  • Flyhalf
  • Fullback
  • Scrumhalf
  • Locks (either 4 or 5)
  • Tighthead prop
  • Centres (12 or 13)
  • Blindside flanker
  • Wings
  • Loosehead prop
  • Openside flanker
  • Eight
  • Hooker

As you can see in the list above, loosehead props are at the lower end of the salary spectrum in the Premiership.

So, Vunipola is doing well to get the relatively high contract he enjoys.

If you’re not sure of the difference between the two prop positions, we have an in-depth article on props in Rugby Union.