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Rugby World Cup 2019

Japan rugby amateurs get US$18 to play England – which isn’t enough for a burger and chips at the team hotel

  • England stars will make US$32,000 each – the highest appearance fee in rugby
  • Japan professionals go unpaid despite domestic league being flush with cash
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 2:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 2:24pm

Japan’s test rugby amateurs are being paid just 2,000 yen (US$17.54) per day, their coach Jamie Joseph said ahead of his side’s clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Brave Blossoms’ tour allowance pales in comparison to their opponents who will each earn a reported £25,000 (US$32,000) for the match.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts are largely made up of amateur players, with the professionals even going unpaid for representing the country.

“Our guys here are amateur, they are employees of companies and are getting 2,000 Yen a day,” said Joseph, a former All Black. “And the foreigners we have in our team don’t get paid for playing for Japan.

“So we have got different motivators for this game.”

In contrast, England’s Rugby Football Union pay their test players the highest appearance fees in the sport.

Their players previously earned between US$22,000 and US$28,000 with bonuses paid on top.

The Guardian reported that Japan’s appearance fee was not enough to cover the cost of a burger and chips at the team hotel.

Last year, it came to light that Samoa’s largely amateur team were paid US$837 for their test match against England at Twickenham.

The England players decided against offering their match fees to the Samoa team.

Back in 2016, Fiji made the headlines for their US$515 match fee for playing England. The Fijians were given a US$96,500 “gesture of goodwill” from the hosts for their sold-out test, half of the money they requested.

The fees for players vary wildly between the respective unions, with Georgia paying around US$800 per test and Wales in the region of US$6,500.

While Japan’s national team do not pay well, the domestic league has splashed the cash in recruiting foreign talent.

Wallabies back Matt Giteau is the third highest-paid player in rugby after signing for the Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath.

The 34-year-old earns US$1.24 million per year according to sports agency Esportif’s 2018 report.

Japan host the 2019 Rugby World Cup from next September until November.