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10 Highest Paid NRL Players for 2023

An Aussie institution, the NRL runs through the blood of our nation, so it should come as no surprise that the league’s biggest stars are raking in the big bucks. Forget the scores, the commentary and the replays, we want to know who are the highest-paid NRL players for 2023, and we’ve done some digging to find out once and for all just how much NRL players are really earning. According to the experts at the Herald Sun, here are the highest-paid NRL players for 2023.

Highest Paid NRL Players 2023

4 kalyn ponga
Kalyn Ponga | Image: Fox Sports

1. Kalyn Ponga (Knights) – $1.4 million

Although he recently scooped up the recent Dally M Medal, Kalyn Ponga hasn’t fully lived up to his substantial contract with the Knights. Nevertheless, he remains a dynamic player who, with a stronger squad, could have added several Grand Final victories to his resume. Committed to the club until 2027, he still possesses the opportunity to translate individual accolades into team championships.

Salary: AUD$1.4 million
Team: Newcastle Knights
Born: 30 March 1998 (age 25 years), Port Hedland
Height: 1.84 m
Parents: Andre Ponga
Siblings: Kacey Ponga

Player profile 

1 nathan cleary
Nathan Cleary | Image: Fox Sports

2. Nathan Cleary (Panthers) – $1.3 million

Nathan Cleary’s salary is a whopping $1.3 million, making him the second-highest-paid NRL player in 2023. The Penrith Panthers talisman has been the main star in the Penrith Panthers side and heading into his third straight grand final, is worth every cent. dominated the NRL recently. He will remain a Panther until at least the end of 2027, with his pay gradually decreasing as part of an effort to retain the team’s core players.

Salary: AUD$1.3 million
Team: Penrith Panthers
Born: 14 November 1997 (age 25), Sydney
Height: 1.82 m
Parents: Rebecca Cleary, Ivan Cleary
Siblings: Milaya Cleary, Indi Cleary

Player profile 

Cameron Munster
Cameron Munster | Image: Getty Images

3. Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm) – $1.25 million

While many speculated Munster was going to take a big cash deal from the Dolphins, he ended up staying loyal to the Storm. The star half will be locked into a purple and gold jersey until the end of 2027. Sorry, Wayne.

Salary: AUD$1.3 million
Team: Melbourne Storm
Born: 13 September 1994 (age 29)
Height: 1.85 m
Parents: Deborah Munster
Siblings: Danielle Munster

2 daly cherry evans
Daly Cherry-Evans | Image: Instagram

4. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles) – $1.2 million

The previous long-time legend in the ranks of the highest-paid NRL players, Daly Cherry-Evans has been pushed to fourth place. The Manly captain is currently in the last season of his mega eight-year contract, and he continues to provide excellent value to the club. Not one to mess around, he’s since inked a two-year extension that could potentially see him at the club for life.

Salary: AUD$1.2 million
Team: Sea Eagles
Born: 20 February 1989 (age 34 years), Redcliffe
Height: 1.83 m
Spouse: Vessa Rockliff
Parents: ​​Troy Evans, Kellie Cherry
Siblings: Kaci Cherry-Evans, Klanci Cherry-Evans, Darcy Cherry-Evans, Dylan Cherry-Evans

Player profile

9 luke brooks
Luke Brooks | Image: West Tigers Rugby League

5. Luke Brooks (Tigers) – $1.15 million

Is this the last we will see the little half in the Tigers’ jersey? Brooks, the clubs highest-paid player for 2023, is now off contract, and it’s highly unlikely he will be able to secure a million-dollar deal wherever he chooses to sign next.

Salary: $1,150,000
Team: Wests Tigers
Born: 21 December 1994 (age 28 years), Sydney
Height: 1.8 m
Parents: Michele Brooks, Jeff Brooks
Siblings: Scott Brooks, Joel Brooks

Player profile

6 tom trbojevic
Tom Trbojevic | Image: National Rugby League

6. Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles) – $1.15 million

With unrivalled form and skills, it’s no secret why Tom Trbojevic has made it into the top 10 highest-paid NRL players for 2023. A key player for the Manly Sea Eagles, Tommy Turbo’s $1.15 million price tag is worth every penny, injuries included. The fullback from Sydney’s northern beaches has come a long way since he first inked a contract with his local club at the age of 16 at the sum of $5,000 per annum.

Salary: AUD$1.1 Million
Team: Manly Sea Eagles
Born: 2 October 1996 (age 26 years), Mona Vale
Height: 1.94 m
Parents: John Trbojevic, Melissa Trbojevic
Siblings: Jake Trbojevic, Ben Trbojevic

Player profile 

3 ben hunt
Ben Hunt | Image: Fox Sports

7. Ben Hunt (Dragons) – $1.1 million

Former Bronco player Ben Hunt, joins the ranks of the highest paid NRL players for 2023, coming in seventh place. In 2018, the St. George Illawarra Dragons captain and halfback signed a mammoth five-year deal with the Red V back in January 2017. Now he’s re-signed with the club for a smaller amount for the next two seasons that will see him fall below the $1 million mark.

Salary: AUD$1.1 million
Team: St. George Illawarra Dragons
Born: 27 March 1990 (age 33 years), Rockhampton
Height: 1.78 m
Spouse: Bridget Hunt
Parents: Geoff Hunt, De-Ann Hunt

Player profile

5 james tedesco
James Tedesco | Image: Fox Sports

8. James Tedesco (Roosters) – $1.1 million

Fondly known as Teddy, James Tedesco has long been one of the star players for the Roosters. While 2023 has been a season to forget form-wise, he’s still worthy of his $1.1 million-a-season earnings. The club will be hoping he can regain the spark, having signed him last year to the end of the 2025 season.

Salary: AUD​​$1.1 million
Team: Sydney Roosters
Born: 8 January 1993 (age 30 years), Ryde
Height: 1.84 m
Parents: John Tedesco, Rosemary Tedesco
Siblings: Matthew Tedesco

Player profile 

Addin fonua blake nrl photos
Addin Fonua-Blake | Image: NRL Photos

9. Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors)- $1.1 million

The giant enforcer has been a godsend for the Warriors pack and has earned every cent of his new contract. Secured until 2026, Fonua-Blake is only getting better and deserves to be one of the highest-paid forwards in the game for years to come.

Salary: AUD$1,100,000
Team: New Zealand Warriors
Born: 6 November 1995 (age 27 years), Meadowbank, NSW
Height: 1.89 m
Partner: Ana Fonua-Blake

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Mitchell Moses | Image: Fox Sports

10. Mitchell Moses (Eels) – $1.05 million

Just scraping in the rankings for the highest-paid NRL players for 2023, the Eels halfback Mitchell Moses rings in a nifty $1.05 million-a-season pay cheque, which is still pretty good, if you ask us. In fact, the No.7 recently signed an upgraded extension with the Eels to keep him in Parramatta until the end of 2026, with options in his favour for 2027 and 2028, that will see his salary increase to over $1.2 million.

Salary: AUD$1,050,000
Team: Parramatta Eels
Born: 16 September 1994 (age 29 years), Ryde
Height: 1.82 m
Parents: John Moses
Siblings: Kat Moses

Player profile

Highest paid nrl players
Nathan Cleary | Image: Instagram

Average NRL Salary

First up, there are a few things you need to understand when it comes to the average NRL salary. There’s this thing called a salary cap, which is a system created in an attempt to even the playing field of teams in the Winfield Cup. In 2023, the NRL salary cap looks like this:

  • $9.118m: Base salary cap for the Top 30 players.
  • $188,000: Veteran and Developed Player Allowance. Eligible players include; those developed by the Club before becoming NRL players, have been a Top 30 player for at least 8 years at the Club, and have been a Top 30 player for at least 10 years across the game.
  • $94,000: Motor Vehicle Allowance. Five cars may be provided to players in the Top 30 outside of the salary cap valued at $18,800 each.
  • + $300,000 per team: – Paid by the NRL to the RLPA towards players’ Retirement Account Contribution.
  • + $100,o00 per team: – Paid by the NRL to the RLPA towards their administration funding.

It’s worth noting that outside of the salary cap, players can earn unlimited amounts from corporate sponsors who are not associated with the club and who do not use the game’s intellectual property, just as long as these are pre-approved by the Club and the NRL.

In terms of the average NRL salary, the average NRL player makes on average $371,000 and is paid a minimum of $100,000. Ok, it’s safe to say we’re wishing we had some talent because that is some serious cash. Now it’s time to look at the highest pair NRL players

General FAQs

How much do NRL players get paid in 2023?

The average NRL player makes on average $371,000 and is paid a minimum of $100,000

Who is the highest-paid NRL player?

Kalyn Ponga is the highest-paid NRL player, with a salary of $1.4 million.