The IRFU have confirmed that the 2018/19 financial year was their most successful ever, as they made €87.5million in revenue.

Improved revenue resulting from the sale of ten-year tickets and corporate boxes, together with an increase in Pro14 revenues, saw an extra €1.8million go into the coffers on the corresponding period last year. 

The men's international game now accounts for 81% of all IRFU revenues through ticket sales hospitality, sponsorship and amortised income.

The IRFU also netted just over €24 million from the sale of land at Newlands Cross. The Union has agreed that the net proceeds of this sale are to be applied for the benefit of the domestic game.

CEO Philip Browne welcomed the results and said: "We are pleased to report strong revenues for the 2018/19 financial year. As we move to implementing our latest strategic plan, entitled, Building Success, Together, which includes ambitions plans for the development of our women's game, we rely heavily on the revenues generated by the senior men’s team.

"These revenues come from loyal supporters, partners and Sport Ireland, who provide the funding for the development of every aspect of the game.  We are extremely grateful for such support."

Meanwhile the IRFU also confirmed that investment in domestic rugby topped €11.25million last year, a record for funding dedicated to the grassroots development of the game.

The investment was made across numerous areas, with some €3.5 million invested in development officers across the four branches together with other provincial initiatives, €2.3million in respect of various other initiatives including insurance, women's rugby and further branch funding, and over €1.25 million allocated directly to clubs and school support.

Commenting on the increased spend, Colin McEntee, Director of Rugby Development said: "The domestic and professional games enjoy a symbiotic relationship, with the professional game providing the funding to allow the domestic game develop future Irish internationals, and support those who just want to play club, schools or leisure rugby for fun and fitness.

"Our funding covers all aspects of the game, from insurance to coaching and referee development to placing staff with provinces in roles such as Club Development Officers.  While this funding may not always be obvious, it is the lifeblood of grassroots rugby and we are pleased that we are in a position to increase it each year.

"I am delighted that the union continue to not only support, but to champion the development of the grassroots game, and I am confident that Irish rugby will continue to inspire people to come together and enjoy all the benefits that only team sports can deliver."