How to Become a Pro Rugby Player

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The premier rugby league in England is the Super League, which consists of three divisions in the English Rugby Football League, while the premier league in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL). 6 Nations is the premier league for European rugby. The league consists of teams from England, France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy. In South Africa, fourteen provisional unions formed the SA Rugby Employer’s Organization (REO).

Things You'll Need

  • Rugby ball
  • Cleats
  • Practice field
  • Practice partners

Become a professional rugby player

  • Maintain good physical conditioning. This is essential in order to compete successfully at the professional level. Keep fit and practice often.

  • Participate in college rugby. This is vital to success of new players since professional rugby leagues rely heavily on the player draft system drawing upon college players. Just as practice is essential to success in any pro sport, aspiring rugby players will require lots of practice.

  • Contact professional rugby teams in England and Australia for information regarding try-outs with pro teams.

  • Notify the NRL league office that you wish to participate in the college draft. This is usually required and you should submit notice to the NRL of intent to be available for consideration. Players not selected in the NRL draft are considered free agents and may sign with any team. Nearly all professional rugby players have come from the college draft.

  • Submit a press kit (consisting of news clippings, action photographs, contact information and any rugby awards you have won) to the teams you have selected. Put the contents of your kit into a high-quality presentation folder. Remember that you’re getting paid to help attract spectators and in that respect, you are an entertainer as well as competitive athlete.

  • Contact professional rugby teams for information about try-out procedures and relevant times, dates, and locations.

  • Count your money! The NRL salary cap is $3.25 million (Australian dollars) for the 25 highest paid players on each team.

Tips & Warnings

  • Reading the major rugby trade magazine, “Rugby Magazine,” will help further your career and will keep you abreast of important news about the sport.
  • Players in that league are represented in collective bargaining by the SA Rugby Player’s Association (RPA). REO players earn the equivalent of about $569 per month. A few of the top players earn about $5,000 per month.
  • Rugby is a dangerous sport. You can easily suffer serious injuries including having your teeth knocked out.

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