The WPRU (Western Province Rugby Union) has the highest budget of any South African rugby franchise, totalling a whopping R78 million per year.
It may seem strange that the second worst performing South African team competing in this year’s Super Rugby league retains the highest local budget, but Rapport confirmed the figures on Sunday.
Stranger still is the fact that the poorest performing franchise, the Blue Bulls, stand to overtake the WPRU, should head coach, John Mitchell, get his R90 million wish moving forward.
Top of the money table, and almost at the bottom of the performance ladder, is the Cape-based WPRU, with a total yearly budget of R78 million spent on 128 contracted players, averaging R609 375 per player.
The Pretoria based Blue Bulls come in second, with a total budget of R68 million for 151 players averaging R450 331 per player.
The best performing team in the South African conference, the Johannesburg based Lions, have made it to this year’s finals, and have a total budget of R66 million for 117 players, averaging R564 103 per player. In this case, it’s been money well spent.
Durban based franchise, the Sharks, have a total budget of R65 million for 111 players, averaging R585 586 per player.
The Bloemfontein based Cheetahs, who were relegated from the Super Rugby league, and now play in the European PRO14 group, have a total budget of R41 million for 92 players, averaging R445 652 per player.
Perpetual underdogs, the Port Elizabeth based Southern Kings joined their brothers from Bloem in the PRO14 series, and have a total budget of R12 million for 68 players, averaging R176 471 per player.
On average, South African rugby players participating in the Super Rugby competition earned R1 055 440 last season. This figure excludes win-bonuses.
The accolade of highest paid athlete is awarded the Shark’s veteran, Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, who earned R3 744 796 through his Super Rugby contract.
The Lions will face off against the Crusaders this coming Saturday, playing for the Super Rugby title in Christchurch, New Zealand.