Japanese club offering deal to make Finn Russell world’s ‘highest-paid player’

Injury meant Finn Russell was limited in his impact for the Lions, but the Scotland magician and Racing 92 fly-half could pull a disappearing act by heading to Japan on more than £1million per year

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A very lucrative crossroads lies in front of Finn Russell following reports Japanese outfit Green Rockets Tokatsu are prepared to make Scotland ’s No. 10 the ‘highest-paid player in the world’.

Russell, 28, has another two seasons to run on his current contract with Racing 92 in Paris, but his Japanese admirers are said to be willing to pay the French club off in order to land their man.

The playmaker recently returned from his British and Irish Lions duties in South Africa, where he only appeared in the third and final Test, a 19-16 defeat that sealed a series loss to the Springboks.

An achilles injury meant his influence on the tour was minimal, but his sole Test outing drew widespread praise after he was called on in Cape Town as an injury replacement for Dan Biggar.

And The Rugby Paper reported Michael Cheika—who was announced as the new Green Rockets director in May—saw enough of the Scot to put him at the top of his shopping list this summer.

Japanese outfit Green Rockets Tokatsu are prepared to make Finn Russell the best-paid rugby player on the planet


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The former Australia coach wants his new club to pull out all the stops in order to land Russell, who could become the world’s best-paid player if he completes the move.

It’s understood Scotland’s fly-half superstar currently rakes in £900,000 a year at the Paris La Defense Arena, but Green Rockets would be willing to pay their target seven figures.

Montpellier and Bristol Bears reportedly each pay Handre Pollard and Charles Piutau, respectively, around £1million per year, the current benchmark among rugby union’s highest earners.

But former Glasgow Warrior Russell—who moved to Paris in 2018—could eclipse even that sum if he agrees to move, giving the player a very enviable dilemma ahead of the new season.

Alex Goode (pictured jumping) has returned to Saracens after a season on loan with Green Rockets


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Japan’s Rugby League One has been rebranded after turning entirely professional, with numerous clubs making moves in the market to sign some of rugby’s greatest talents.

Green Rockets—who failed to win any of their seven games last season—will have some salary space free after they recently bade farewell to utility Alex Goode.

Goode, 33, returned to English giants Saracens having spent the term on loan in Abiko while his parent club were in the RFU Championship as a result of breaching Premiership salary cap rules.

Green Rockets also had Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway on their books until earlier this year when he linked back up with the Melbourne Rebels.

Russell has impressed during his three years at Racing 92 thus far


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Russell may follow in the footsteps of Racing predecessor Dan Carter, who also spent three years with the Parisian club before departing for a stint playing with Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

Like Russell, New Zealand great Carter was one of the most desirable players in his position when he completed the switch, albeit one with far more prestige and two Rugby World Cup crowns.

Cheika has identified alternatives in the event Green Rockets—coached by Ryota Asano—cannot persuade Russell, having spoken to Northampton’s Harry Mallinder and Sharks fly-half Curwin Bosch.

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