Jonathan Sexton to be second-highest paid player in French Top 14

Irish outhalf, who makes his competitive debut against Brive on Saturday, admitted to Racing Metro manager Simon Raiwalui that he was feeling some pre-match nerves before Harlequins’ gamesexton

Racing Metro’s kicking coach Ronan O’Gara with Jonathan Sexton during their friendly game against Harlequins in Switzerland. Photograph: Harold Cunningham/Inpho.

It has been reported that Racing Metro’s Jonathan Sexton will be the second-highest paid player in the French Top 14 this season.

French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique had suggested last season that the Irish international would top the earnings list after Toulon outhalf Jonny Wilkinson accepted a pay cut to stay in France for another season.

But Le Journal du Dimanche suggests that the English World Cup winner will still earn €56,000 per month because half of his salary is linked to royalty payments from the sale of club products that use his name.

Sexton will earn €52,000 per month, according to the JDD, followed by new Toulon signing Bryan Habana (€50,000) and Clermont scrumhalf Morgan Parra (€46,000), who is the highest-paid French player.

A salary cap of €10 million will be strictly enforced this season, with the average, pre-tax wage of €14,300-per-month expected to drop for the first time since rugby went professional.

‘Payrolls of clubs’
“If we allow too much of a gap between the payrolls of clubs, the Top 14 will lose its interest,” the league president, Paul Goze, told Le Journal du Dimanche.

“Rugby isn’t football. Two teams of very different abilities can’t provide an interesting match.”