This article reviews the salaries of Toronto Arrows rugby players in Major League Rugby.
Of course, salaries are private contracts between the club and the players. Clubs rarely publish the details.
However, some information gets out in the small circles of Rugby Union in Canada. We’ve gathered and reviewed all the details from credible sources. Pull up a chair!
How Do Toronto Arrows Rugby Players Get Paid?
Before we look in-depth at the numbers, let’s review different ways that players earn their annual income.
It’s not just through monthly club wages. A player’s full income can come from several sources.
Note that some players are only compensated with wages. The other options on this list will only apply to a selection of players in the Arrows squad.
- Monthly club wages
- Subsidized accommodation
- Help with finding part-time employment
- Part-time coaching roles at youth level
- International match fees (these are not paid by the MLR franchises)
The Arrows may help players by subsidizing their rent in a fairly high-cost city like Toronto.
Younger players often opt to group together and share accommodation arranged by the franchise. They can live nearly rent-free near the Arrows training facilities.
The elite clubs in England and Ireland have similar arrangements for their academy players.
This won’t work for players with families. But these players can also get some level of rent assistance.
Experienced players may be offered part-time coaching roles. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are involved in coaching their Arrows teammates.
They may be coaching at youth level or with local amateur clubs. These players will have gone through the formal coaching courses regulated by World Rugby.
Helping with part-time employment
The MLR competition lasts seven months. Franchises encourage lower-paid players to get a second income during the off-season.
Some players have held jobs during the usual season, effectively making them part-time players. For example, one Arrows player also worked as a firefighter in Toronto.
What Do Toronto Arrows Rugby Players Get Paid?
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.
However, the Toronto Arrows haven’t focused on signing seasoned internationals from elite rugby countries like England and New Zealand.
They do have talented players from Argentina, Australia, and Ireland (to name just some of the overseas countries represented in the squad).
But none of these players have years of experience at the top level of their domestic competitions.
Average salaries for rugby players with Toronto Arrows
The senior rugby players at Toronto Arrows earn from $25K-$30K per season.
Mid-range players with several years experience are on $14K-$20K.
Less experienced players are paid about $10K for the season.
The lowest pay is for part-time players paid 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 The Arrows?
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
Major League Rugby 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 the Toronto Arrows hit the targets laid out by MLR.
This is due to their academy pathway program that operates several training hubs in different parts of Toronto.
Meeting the development targets means that the Arrows 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 Do The Toronto Arrows Afford These Salaries?
You may be wondering if the gate receipts are enough to cover player salaries. The answer is that they’re not.
The majority owner of the franchise is an equity investment manager. Some of the minority owners are also involved in equity funds. This helps with the budget!
You can read more in our article on the owners of Toronto Arrows.
How Do The Arrows Compare With Other Countries?
One of the Australian players at the Arrows played underage representative rugby for the Wallabies. He also has several caps in Super Rugby.
Check out our article on how much rugby players earn in Australia.
An Argentinian squad member played in the Pro D2 in France. This is the second tier of professional competition.
You can get the salary details in our article on how much rugby players are paid in France.
Another player played underage for Ireland and was in the Leinster academy. Check out our article on how much rugby players earn in Ireland.