Highest paid nrl players 2

10 Highest Paid NRL Players for 2022

An Aussie institution, 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 2022, and we’ve done some digging to find out once and for all just how much NRL players are really earning. Prepare yourself, you may soon be considering a career in NRL, or maybe just kicking yourself for having no skill in the first place, and we don’t blame you. Here are the highest-paid NRL players for 2022.

Related: These are the highest-paid F1 driver’s for 2022.

Highest paid nrl players

Nathan Cleary | Image: Instagram

The Business of Rugby League

NRL players are making more money now than they ever have before. In 2022 there have been an impressive 22 new entrants in the NRL Rich 100. With growing sponsorship deals in the mix, post-COVID game attendance rates and more money being thrown into the sport from other avenues, rugby league is becoming a serious, booming business.

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 2022, 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.

Highest Paid NRL Players 2022

1 nathan cleary

Nathan Cleary | Image: Fox Sports

1. Nathan Cleary (Panthers) – $1.3 million

Nathan Cleary’s salary is a whopping $1.3 million, making him the highest-paid NRL player in 2022. The Penrith Panthers talisman has been the main star in the Penrith Panthers side that has dominated the NRL recently. Although, things may look a little different next year, as part of the five-year extension Cleary agreed with the Panthers earlier this year, he signed off on a pay cut to ensure the club would be able to surround him with quality in coming years.

Salary: AUD$1.3 million
Team: Penrith Panthers
Born: 14 November 1997 (age 24), Sydney
Height: 1.82 m
Parents: Rebecca Cleary, Ivan Cleary
Siblings: Milaya Cleary, Indi Cleary

Player profile Instagram (@_nathancleary)

2 daly cherry evans

Daly Cherry-Evans | Image: Instagram

2. 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 second place. The Manly Sea Eagles captain plays as a halfback and also has a position in the Australian team. His reign of success has been a long one, since leading Manly to victory in the 2011 NRL Grand Final with the Sea Eagles.

Salary: AUD$1.2 million
Team: Sea Eagles
Born: 20 February 1989 (age 33 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 Instagram (@dalycherryevans)

3 ben hunt

Ben Hunt | Image: Fox Sports

3. Ben Hunt (Dragons) – $1.1 million

Former Bronco player Ben Hunt, joins the ranks of the highest paid NRL players for 2022, coming in third place. In 2018, the St. George Illawarra Dragons captain and halfback signed a five-year deal with the Red V back in January 2017. There are reports that Hunt will reject the Dragons and sign with a new club, however, Hunt himself has shot down these allegations.

Salary: AUD$1.1 million
Team: St. George Illawarra Dragons
Born: 27 March 1990 (age 32 years), Rockhampton
Height: 1.78 m
Spouse: Bridget Hunt
Parents: Geoff Hunt, De-Ann Hunt

Player profile

4 kalyn ponga

Kalyn Ponga | Image: Fox Sports

4. Kalyn Ponga (Knights) – $1.1 million

Kalyn Ponga’s recent signing of a five-year deal with Newcastle Knights has catapulted the superstar fullback to a position among the highest-flying players in the league. The new contract means Ponga will remain with the Knights until the end of 2027, putting an end to the speculation he’s making a move to the NRL’s latest expansion team, The Dolphins.

Salary: AUD$1.1 million
Team: Newcastle Knights
Born: 30 March 1998 (age 24 years), Port Hedland
Height: 1.84 m
Parents: Andre Ponga
Siblings: Kacey Ponga

Player profile Instagram (@kalyn__ponga)

5 james tedesco

James Tedesco | Image: Fox Sports

5. James Tedesco (Roosters) – $1.1 million

Fondly known as Teddy, James Tedesco has long been one of the star players for the Roosters. His efforts are an equal match to his impressive salary, with his $1.1 million-a-season earnings undoubtedly equalling Tedesco’s contribution to Trent Robinson’s reign at the club.

Salary: AUD​​$1.1 million
Team: Sydney Roosters
Born: 8 January 1993 (age 29 years), Ryde
Height: 1.84 m
Parents: John Tedesco, Rosemary Tedesco
Siblings: Matthew Tedesco

Player profile Instagram (@jamestedesco)

6 tom trbojevic

Tom Trbojevic | Image: National Rugby League

6. Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles) – $1.1 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 2022. A key player for the Manly Sea Eagles, Tommy Turbo’s $1.1 million price tag is worth every penny. 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 25 years), Mona Vale
Height: 1.94 m
Parents: John Trbojevic, Melissa Trbojevic
Siblings: Jake Trbojevic, Ben Trbojevic

Player profile Instagram (@tomtrbojevic)

7 jesse bromwich

Jesse Bromwich | Image: Fox Sports

7. Jesse Bromwich (Storm) – $1.05 million

Jesse Bromwich’s impressive $1.05 salary makes him the highest paid prop in the NRL in 2022. As one of the best go-forward merchants the Melbourne Storm has ever seen, it’s no wonder why the Strom side has invested so much in keeping him playing for the team.

Salary: AUD$1.05 Million
Team: Melbourne Storm
Born: 3 May 1989 (age 33 years), Auckland, New Zealand
Height: 1.94 m
Siblings: Kenny Bromwich

Player profile

8 david fifita

David Fifita | Image: Fox Sports

8. David Fifita (Titans) – $1 million

Plenty of eyebrows were raised when David Fifita defected from the Broncos to Sunshine State rivals, the Gold Coast Titans, and now we know his salary, maybe it makes a little bit more sense. Given his young age at the time, being just 21 years old, when thrown the impressive sum, we can understand it’d be pretty damn hard to look away. Now the Titans’ top try-scorer, it’s safe to say he’s earned his keep.

Salary: AUD$1 Million
Team: Gold Coast Titans
Born: 25 February 2000 (age 22 years), Brisbane
Height: 1.86 m
Parents: Siaosi Teisina Fifita
Siblings: Andrew Fifita

Player profile Instagram (@david_fifita)

9 luke brooks

Luke Brooks | Image: West Tigers Rugby League

9. Luke Brooks (Tigers) – $960,000

Whilst a slight drop from the eight highest-paid NRL players for 2022, Brooks comes in as the Tigers’ highest-paid player. However, the club is undergoing some changes in management in 2023, and whilst Brooks is contracted until the end of 2023 and is set to cost the club almost $1 million next season, there have been talks of offloading him for budget reasons.

Salary: AUD$960,000
Team: Wests Tigers
Born: 21 December 1994 (age 27 years), Sydney
Height: 1.8 m
Parents: Michele Brooks, Jeff Brooks
Siblings: Scott Brooks, Joel Brooks

Player profile

10 mitchell moses

Mitchell Moses | Image: Fox Sports

10. Mitchell Moses (Eels) – $950,000

Just scraping in the rankings for the highest-paid NRL players for 2022, the Eels halfback Mitchell Moses rings in a nifty $950,000-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 2024, so he’ll continue leading the team to victory for at least a little while longer.

Salary: AUD$$950,000
Team: Parramatta Eels
Born: 16 September 1994 (age 27 years), Ryde
Height: 1.82 m
Parents: John Moses
Siblings: Kat Moses

Player profile Instagram (@mitchmoses)

General FAQs

How much do NRL players get paid in 2022?

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

Who is the highest-paid NRL player?

Nathan Cleary is the highest-paid NRL player, with a salary of $1.3 million.

Aimee O'Keefe

Aimee O'Keefe

Aimee O’Keefe is a Sydney-based freelance writer with a background in content marketing, lifestyle, architecture and travel coverage. She completed a Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and has worked with Universal Magazines, various leading digital marketing agencies and The Local Project.