"Buzz, excitement" - England lock Maro Itoje becomes the highest-paid Premiership player - Ruck

“Buzz, excitement” – England lock Maro Itoje becomes the highest-paid Premiership player

In a sensational development, Maro Itoje is poised to secure the coveted title of the Gallagher Premiership’s top earner.

The formidable England lock is on the brink of finalising a lucrative contract extension with Saracens, which will catapult him to the pinnacle of the salary charts in the division.

The sale of captain Owen Farrell to Racing 92 was seen as a strategic move to facilitate the re-signing of Maro Itoje with the rugby club

“I want to, at a bare minimum, do the next World Cup,” revealed Itoje.

“I want to play for the Lions [next year], put myself in position to be selected there. Those opportunities are ones you really can’t take for granted.

“Being at this last World Cup was an amazing experience. The passion of the fans, that atmosphere, the buzz, excitement – it’s a drug that it’s hard to stay away from, so I would love the opportunity to do that again.”

Itoje added: “Playing at the highest level for England…it’s the greatest opportunity for me to shine

“To fully express myself and express my competitive juices. As I sing the national anthem, I look around and I think to myself ‘wow, this is special, not many people get to experience this in the way that I’m experiencing this’.

“If I was to step away from playing English rugby, playing for England now, I know a part of me would be eaten up inside.”

Highest-paid rugby players in the world 2023

RUCK.co.uk examines the top six highest-paid players in the world. We’ve based our figures on reports from trusted news sources and databases to boost our accuracy.

All figures mentioned are before tax – unless specified – and do not include bonuses, extra fees and players’ various sponsorship deals which, in some cases, can instantly double their annual income.

6. Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers) – £610,000

During his tenure at Montpellier, the Springbok fly-half was known as one of the highest-earning players in the sport, purportedly receiving an annual salary exceeding one million.

However, his transfer to Leicester Tigers entailed a reduction in pay, although he is still believed to be earning a respectable sum at Welford Road.

Handre Pollard of South Africa during the Autumn Nations Match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on 20 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

5. Antoine Dupont (Toulouse) – £700,000

The Les Bleus’ talisman is undoubtedly leading one of the most exciting teams on the international stage, all while helping to change the perception of the sport.

Antoine Dupont of France during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.