This article looks at the salaries of Worcester Warriors rugby players in the English Premiership.
You probably know that individual salaries are private contracts and the details are seldom made public by the club.
However, several companies associated with players publish annual statistics and other details.
How Do Worcester Warriors Players Get Paid?
Before we get into the figures, we’ll do a quick review of how the players are paid. It’s not just through club wages.
Their full salary can be made up of several income streams:
- Monthly wages from Worcester Warriors rugby club
- Win bonuses for Premiership matches
- Sponsorships, endorsements, and brand deals
- Image rights and licensing
- International matches e.g. for England
- British & Irish Lions (every four years)
The Worcester Warriors club pays monthly salaries and bonuses.
Outside companies will pay for brand deals and sponsorships. The monetary value will vary widely across players, so I won’t get into these.
This article focuses on wages paid by Worcester Warriors and by England.
Image rights and brand deals
Image rights are paid by companies who want to use player photos in their brand advertising.
This varies from huge brands (e.g. sports or fashion) to local retail firms. If you live in Worcester, you may see the images of less famous players in local adverts.
Experienced players have professional agents to arrange these endorsements and brand deals.
Academy and other younger players often start off by using a father or other relative in this role.
How Have Covid Restrictions Impacted Salaries?
The 2020/21 Premiership season was shortened due to Covid restrictions. Match attendances were also restricted.
TV revenue was reduced due to the shorter season. The drop in gate receipts also hit club income. All these pressures resulted in financial difficulties for the club.
Worcester Warriors players agreed to take a 25% pay cut across the player roster. The club also negotiated with the highest-paid players for further pay cuts.
This article uses the averages and reported salaries of more normal times. You can mentally reduce the figures in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.
What Is The Average Salary Of A Worcester Warriors Rugby Player?
The average salary for Worcester Warriors rugby players is about £120K for senior players.
Young Worcester Warriors players in their first year on a full contract earn about £40K. This will double within the next few years.
Academy players earn between £15-25K depending on their academy year.
These are average salaries but the star players are on significantly higher amounts, as I show in the next section.
However, clubs must keep their whole budget underneath the agreed salary cap for the league.
Who Are The Highest Paid Worcester Warriors Rugby Players?
While the average salary for players is £120K, the range for middle-ranking players is from £70K to £140K.
The marquee players can earn over £400K. The Warriors traditionally haven’t paid that kind of money. But they usually have two marquee players.
Their highest-paid player in recent years was South African scrum half Francois Hougaard on a reputed contract of £350K per year.
The next highest player was Scotland fly half Duncan Weir on £250K.
However, both players moved on from the Warriors.
That leaves England back row Matt Kvesic as the highest-paid player on a reputed salary of £220K.
Other players in the higher salary range
Given that the salary range for senior players is from £70K to £140K, who is at the top of the range?
Esportif publishes statistics for which positions earn the most in the Premiership. These are the top six:
- Fly half
- Locks (either 4 or 5)
- Outside centre
- Tighthead prop
Although wingers tend to be paid less than the average, I expect the highly experienced Chris Ashton to be at the top of the range.
English Premiership Salary Cap
English Premiership clubs are not allowed to exceed an agreed cap on the total salaries for their squad.
Clubs get extra credits for players that they bring through from their academy to a full professional contract.
They also get credits for players who are capped by England.
How Much Do Worcester Warriors Get For Playing For England?
The England squad collectively agreed to a reduction in match fees during the COVID period.
In more usual times, the match fee is about £23K for players who are selected in the 23-man squad for a match.
Players don’t get paid just for being called into camp.
So if you see a promising Worcester Warriors youngster has joined an England training camp, don’t assume that they’re getting an immediate bump in income.
There were no Warriors players in the 2021 Autumn international teams for England. But that may change in the future.
If you want a more detailed review, read our article on the fees that England rugby players are paid for international appearances. It includes detailed comparisons to salaries in other countries.
What about selection for the British And Irish Lions?
The tour that comes around every four years is a good bump to a player’s salary that year. The 2021 tour paid £75K to the squad members.
If the Lions had won the 2021 series in South Africa, players would have received a £10,000 bonus.
There were no Warriors on the 2021 tour.
How Does Worcester Warriors Rugby Afford High Salaries?
You may be wondering if the gate receipts are enough to cover these types of salaries. The answer is that they’re not.
The club shared in a one-off payment to all Premiership clubs in 2018 when they agreed to sell a minority stakeholding to the investment company CVC.
The club also has two wealthy co-owners who have invested in the infrastructure. You can read more in our article on who owns Worcester Warriors.