Rugby Referee

Rugby union, better known as Rugby is a close-contract team sport. It originated in England. Two teams of 15 players each partake in a rugby game. Match officials including a referee and two assistant referees manage every rugby game. Referees act as an important component of rugby matches.

Only professionals with extensive expertise are permitted to enter major events. Besides, They sometimes receive additional allowances and bonuses on major events. However, rugby referees get less paid than other sports officials. This article goes into detail about how much a rugby referee makes.

Categories of Rugby Referees:

World Rugby, the governing body of this sport categorizes rugby referees into three categories. The categories are:

  • Rookie
  • Professional
  • Female


A rookie is someone who just began officiating official matches. As a result, they are the lowest-paid officials. Also, they don’t have a proper contract. The match fee of regional competitions determines their income. In addition, they do not receive any additional compensation to judge major matches. They start receiving contracts after gaining enough experience.


Professional referees have years of expertise. Top referees earn extra by officiating matches in major tournaments. They can also receive free lodging and match bonuses in foreign leagues. Besides, officiating in competitions like the French Top 14, English Premiership Rugby, and Six Nations Champions will increase their wage by over $400,000.


Originating in the 19th century, Women’s Rugby is one of the most popular female sports. Regretfully, due to the gender pay gap, female referees earn less than their male counterparts. Sara Cox is an acclaimed female referee. She created history by officiating in a men’s premiership rugby tournament.

Rugby Referees Average Salary:

Category Fee/Match Fee/Major Match Yearly Earnings
Rookie $500 N/A $20,000
Professional $1,500 $4,000 $200,000
Female $750 $2,000 $125,000

Highest Paid Rugby Referees:

Referee Country League Fee/Match Yearly Income
Wayne Barnes England Premiership Rugby $1,500 $200,000
Karl Dickson England Premiership Rugby $1,500 $200,000
JP Doyle England Premiership Rugby $1,500 $200,000
Christophe Berdos France France Top 14 $1,500 $200,000
Jerome Garces France France Top 14 $1,500 $200,000
Alexandre Ruiz France France Top 14 $1,500 $200,000
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English Premiership:

Referees officiating in the English Premiership earn a moderate salary. Having a good track record easily leads them to World Cup contracts. They often get accommodations and travel packages while officiating in a match. The league’s most well-known referee is Wayne Barnes.

France Top 14:

The biggest rugby tournament in France is Top-14. It often delivers hefty earnings and contracts to both athletes and match officials. Jerome Graces is a familiar referee of the tournament. He participated in the recent World Rugby Cup for officiation.

International Rugby Union:

Referees that are members of the International Rugby Union receive the highest salary grade. They also have more opportunities to get World Cup contracts. But becoming a member takes more than experience here.

This concludes our discussion about rugby officials’ wages. Upcoming September 9, the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens will kick off in South Africa. Check our website frequently for the most recent rugby and other sports news and updates.

Abdullah Al Hasan writes about various players, especially about their Biography. He is a freelance content writer and a full-time blogger by profession. He also writes on Surprise Sports regularly.


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