Manu Tuilagi, Samoa's $1.9 million tala man
Manu Tuilagi’s T$1.9 million salary will make him one of world rugby’s top earners for the 2020/2021 season, whenever it can be played.
The England centre’s salary from Leicester Tigers is equal-10th highest of all those publicly reported, according to Jon Doel of WalesOnline.
Another Samoan in Premiership Rugby also makes the richlist; former All Black Steven Luatua will get T$2.25 million from Bristol Bears next season.
His clubmate Charles Piutau will earn T$3.46 million, equal highest in the sport with South African Handre Pollard who is joining Montpellier in France.
In rugby league, Samoan Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is among the N.R.L’s highest paid players, with his salary from the New Zealand Warriors for the 2020 season reported to be T$1.97 million.
All other rugby players’ earnings are dwarfed by the huge deal that brought Sonny Bill Williams back to the 13-man code – the Samoan is receiving T$8.4 million in his first year playing Super League with the Toronto Wolfpack.
But both types of rugby are relatively poor compared with some of the other sports in which some Samoans are excelling.
Heavyweight boxer Lupesoliai Joseph Parker is said to earn around T$3.37 million per fight, while golfer Tony Finau earned over T$12 million in prize money in 2019.
Starting pitcher Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics will be paid T$10.46 million for the next season of Major League Baseball, but it’s another American sport where plenty of Samoans cash in: gridiron.
There are more than 30 Samoans currently on National Football League rosters, three of whom will draw salaries over T$10 million next season; Houston Texans Philadelphia Eagles guard Isaac Seumalo ($11.13), newly-drafted Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ($15.34) and Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota ($20.9).
But the highest paid Samoan sportsman is someone you might not even have heard of.
Power forward for the N.B.A.’s Minnesota Timberwolves James Johnson is midway through his 11th season of professional basketball, which is earning him a whopping T$43 million.
Rugby union’s best-paid players for 2020/2021 as reported by WalesOnline
(club/country they represent in brackets, all in tala)
1st= Handre Pollard (Montpellier, France/South Africa), Charles Piutau (Bristol, England/New Zealand): $3,460,540
3rd Maro Itoje (Saracens, England/England): $3,027,975.32
4th Owen Farrell (Saracens, England/England): $2,593,306.82
5th Steven Luatua (Bristol, England/New Zealand): $2,247,532.57
6th Dan Biggar (Northampton, England/Wales): $2,074,645.45
7th= Nicolas Sanchez (Stade Francais, France/Argentina), Morgan Parra (Clermont, France/France): $2,004,329.14
9th Michael Hooper (Waratahs, Australia/Australia): $1,976,683.22
10th= Manu Tuilagi (Leicester, England/England), Stuart Hogg (Exeter, England/Scotland) $1,900,656.94
12th Johnny Sexton (Leinster, Ireland/Ireland): $1,851,747.19
13th Finn Russell (Racing, France/Scotland): $1,848,292.44
14th Beauden Barrett (Blues, New Zealand/New Zealand): $1,796,471.16
15th Faf de Klerk (Sale, England/South Africa): $1,727,376.11