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IRFU promises to be 'more transparent and equitable' with new funding model

NEWS: The Irish Rugby Football Union announced that – following a review of its existing funding model – a number of changes will be implemented from the start of next season.


The current model commenced in September 2023.

The changes is to ensure that the game in Ireland remains competitive, and financially sustainable.

In a statement the IRFU said the review, conducted by an external consultant under the direction of a steering committee that included an IRFU delegate from each Province, consulted extensively with key stakeholders including the provinces, Rugby Players Ireland and the IRFU.

“The recommendations of the review have the support of the provinces, the steering committee, and the IRFU Union Committee,” the statement said.

A key focus of the review was to safeguard the success of the men’s national team, which generates more than 80 percent of IRFU annual revenues, whilst also ensuring the four provinces remain competitive.

To support successful national and provincial teams, Irish rugby requires a strong pipeline of talent coming through the pathways of all provinces on a consistent basis.


The IRFU said it remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that the game in Ireland remains financially sustainable.

Annual funding of approximately €40 million will be provided by the IRFU to provinces on a more ‘transparent and equitable’ basis, including new incentives based on future growth of income from EPCR and URC competitions plus a new matched funding programme to help drive fundraising efforts and additional investment in the domestic game.

“With 80 percent of the Union’s income derived from our men’s national team, it is imperative that we protect that income at all costs as it is essential to delivering our expanding women’s programme and ongoing support of our domestic game,” IRFU CEO Kevin Potts said.


“At the heart of our existing model is the central control of player contracting and management, which is admired by many.

“A key change to the funding model will see provinces contribute up to 30 percent of the cost of a national contract for their players, with this level to be reviewed annually.

“We hear loud and clear from our players that Ireland is the best place for them to play rugby, owing to our exceptionally high player welfare standards and game management, and that is something of which we are immensely proud.

“The strength of the game in Ireland is aligned to having four healthy, competitive provinces and the IRFU remains committed to delivering this in a financially sustainable manner.

“In essence, this new model is simpler, more transparent, more equitable and delivers better incentivisation and alignment.

“We will however continue to review the model annually which will also need to take account of the pending release of new strategic vision for the game in Ireland.

“I would like to thank all the provinces for their support and participation in this review and we look forward to implementing these changes for the betterment of the game in Ireland. ”


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