2017 Top 20 sporting Richest list

5 Richie McCaw (rugby)

Richie McCaw is not only our most-capped rugby international, he is also ranks as the highest-earning All Black of all time. The All Black captain has a contract with the NZRU worth around $1m, when you include the weekly assembly fee when players are in camp ($7500/wk) and bonuses.

But as one of the biggest names in world rugby, McCaw also makes a sizeable income through sponsorship and endorsement deals and is now in the position where he makes more money off the field than he does on it. He has a lucrative personal deal with adidas as a global ambassador, while he also lends his name to Versatile Homes, Westpac and Mastercard. His off-field earnings are collectively thought to be worth $1.5m.

A shrewd operator on the field, McCaw has also made some smart moves off it, investing his earnings wisely. He is one of several All Blacks, including Dan Carter and Kieran Read, to invest in the aged-care sector and owns between one and five per cent in around 13 aged care facilities around New Zealand. Experts say it is likely to prove savvy move.

Craigs Investment Partners head of research Mark Lister told the Herald on Sunday shares in aged-care companies had been the top performers over the past 10 years – with annual returns of 35 per cent in the case of Ryman Healthcare. “It’s been a lucrative investment space and that [won’t] change over the next couple of decades. There would have been winners and losers but it’s been successful and it probably will continue to be,” said Lister.

McCaw owns an $850,000 home in Christchurch as well as property in Wanaka and three blocks of land in Omarama, near the Southern end of the MacKenzie Basin.

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