15. Election 2020: How did Labour lose a seat in the midst of a red tidal wave. READ MORE: * 2018 Super Rugby squads side-by-side * Super Rugby 2018 fixtures, standings * Blues recruit outside Auckland for 2018 * Blackadder Jr joins the Crusade in 2018 * Eight new Highlanders in 2018 * Fresh faces for new Chiefs era in 2018. Two-time World Rugby player of the year Beauden Barrett quashed rumours of a big-money offshore move last year when he signed a four-year deal with NZR that included a high-profile Super Rugby transfer from the Hurricanes to the Blues, though he has yet to take the field for his new franchise due to the coronavirus outbreak. There was no conflict [and] there wasn't any situation where there was two teams vying for the same person," said Boyd. They cannot simply be paid more to play. 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READ MORE: * NZ rugby recruitment wars * Five options to replace Titch * Self-bugging would surprise Tew * Reason: ABs blindest to laws. In reality, the local comparison is not that simple. One of England's standouts during last year's World Cup in Japan, barnstorming midfielder Manu Tuilagi turned down a lucrative offer from Racing 92 to sign a two-year extension with the Leicester Tigers six months ahead of the tournament. 4. Of that, $60 million was divided up between the five Super Rugby teams, equating to a "cap" of about $4 million per-team, per-year. Even in the age of private investment third party arrangements are largely uncommon - typically two or three max per-team - as they have the potential to cause animosity within a group. At 28, he might not be the best or most successful first-five of all time. Despite being able to command bigger paycheques abroad, Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper signed a mammoth five-year contract with Rugby Australia in 2018 in a deal that has made him the highest-earning player in the country following Israel Folau's departure. Even liniment smells dwindle for a short period. In any profession the bottom line always matters. 7= Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina/Stade Francais) – $1.19m. But the average salary of $200,000 in New Zealand is in line with other major nations. That's why Jerome Kaino features on the back of Auckland buses endorsing public transport, and why Benji Marshall's nib insurance ads continued long after he left the Blues. A key member of South Africa's World Cup-winning Springboks squad last year, halfback Faf de Klerk signed a contract extension with Premiership club Sale Sharks in 2018 that sees him earn half-a-million pounds per year. Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union international club competition involving teams from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Each week we take a look at some of our next generation superstars in the... Week Ten: Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa. Every year New Zealand Rugby "tops up" anywhere between 35 to 40 players on individually-negotiated retainers. Some franchises are vastly better at that than others and that's where the playing field becomes uneven. That's because outside the $4m NZ Super Rugby salary caps, another $65m was spent on players across those three years. 1= Handre Pollard (South Africa/Montpellier) – $2.05m. sport; rugby; Dan Carter set to take staggering salary cut to sign with Blues. But package it all together - even little things like having 11 accredited agents as opposed to more than 70 in Australia - and you see why the majority of players stay as long as possible. Dan Biggar (Wales/Northampton Saints) – $1.23m. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand/Blues) – $1.07m. The fifth first-five on this list, Wales pivot Dan Biggar has made the most of his big-money move from Ospreys to Northampton, where he has shone for the Saints since joining in 2018. 2018 World Rugby player of the year Johnny Sexton returned to his native Leinster five years ago following a brief stint with Racing 92, and has gone on to become Ireland's highest-paid player. And things like the minimum women's sevens retainer increased from $10,000 to $45,000. All Blacks captain Kieran Read and first-five Beauden Barrett are among NZ Rugby's highest paid players, with Read pocketing close to $1 million a year. "A lot of those guys who spend significant time here and understand our environments when they go overseas to Italy, France or England it can be quite a shock," Players' Association boss Rob Nichol said. His salary will also take a cut due to New Zealand Rugby's wage freeze. The maximum retainer is $195,000 and minimum $75,000. If any franchise flagrantly breaches the system they can be fined $3 for every $1 overspent. New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has unveiled Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa the unique trophy that... Next Generation: Lachlan Boshier. What Warriors boss Jim Doyle would give for the NZRL to pay the lion's share of Shaun Johnson's salary - thought to be about $800,000 per-year. Veteran France halfback Morgan Parra's international career may have hit a speed bump, but a recent contract extension with Clermont has kept the 31-year-old among one of the game's top earners. All Blacks and Blues flanker Jerome Kaino is one of few players to have a third-party Super Rugby deal. On the contrary, any remaining money is carried over to the following year, but in a hyper competitive recruitment market most teams hit their limits. His long-time second row partner Sam Whitelock was in a similar position this year when he was allowed a six-month break from his new four-year deal with NZR to join the Panasonic Wild Knights, but has since returned to New Zealand due to the pandemic, making it no easy task trying to unravel the yearly incomes of the planet's best players. In the 22 years of this tournament, the Crusaders have missed the knockout stage just four times. 10= Manu Tuilagi (England/Leicester Tigers) – $1.13m. "We've always taken the view that we wanted to create the best rugby environment in the world because we knew we couldn't compete financially so we were going to rely on the sum of the parts beating the money.". The last discussion between teams, over potential draft players, was conducted on Tuesday. Next year their 38-man squad will boast six current All Blacks next season and three former ones. All Blacks also receive $7500 for every week in camp - about $130,000 if they are involved for the full year. Ex-All Blacks speedster Charles Piutau deserted his international ambitions at the premature age of 23 when he signed a lucrative deal with PRO14 side Ulster in 2015, and then became British rugby's first million-pound player when he joined Bristol three years later. 1= Charles Piutau (New Zealand/Bristol Bears) – $2.05m. Super Rugby salary caps are enforced, though. In the wake of the announcements, two first five-eighths have prompted a bit of talk. What can't be measured in monetary terms are things such as relationships, culture, talent identification, coaching, identity and legacy. These incentives, which seek to protect the fabric of the domestic game as a development competition and will rise further under the new collective agreement, lift some provincial salaries above $60,000 for 10 regular season matches. Now called Draft New Zealand Contract Players, teams are permitted to sign six on retainers of $50,000. Coronavirus: One new community case in Auckland, but change to alert level unlikely, Recap: All Blacks vs Australia – Bledisloe Cup II from Eden Park, Election 2020 live: Jacinda Ardern says Labour to form government in 'next two to three weeks', reacts to Covid-19 case, New Zealand stands together as the world burns. Also if the All Blacks win the world cup next year each player will get a bonus of NZ$115,000. South Africa's World Cup-winning Springboks playmaker Handre Pollard became the joint-richest rugby player in Europe when he agreed to leave the … The 28-year-old has signed a four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby which will see him through to the 2023 World Cup in France, but a two-year sabbatical with Kobelco clouds those estimations. The Blues, meanwhile, have only enjoyed two playoff seasons since winning the last of three titles in 2003. OPINION: It's almost as if the Crusaders and Blues are playing in different competitions. Faf de Klerk (South Africa/Sale Sharks) – $1.02m. All told, with the players' imminent pay rise accounted for, that sees the likes of All Blacks captain Kieran Read taking home close to $1 million each year, and only a dollop of that sitting under the Super Rugby cap. Johnny Sexton (Ireland/Leinster) – $1.10m. Likewise, English rugby's £6.5m (NZ$11.84m) cap that excludes the two highest players from each team, and the French Top 14's 10m Euro (NZ$15.25m) limits dwarf their Kiwi counterparts. 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Former All Blacks loose forward Steven Luatua opted for financial riches ahead of a potentially illustrious international career when he left New Zealand to join English side Bristol in the RFU Championship three years ago. Beyond that are what used to be known as wider contract players.