IRFU set to bank over €5m from Ireland’s Grand Slam success

Players will share between €1.5m and €2m which is paid out on an appearance-based sliding scale

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton holds the Six Nations trophy as he and his team-mates celebrate their Grand Slam success after the win over England. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

The IRFU will receive roughly €5.15 million as a result of Andy Farrell’s team not only winning the 2023 Guinness Six Nations title but also completing just a fourth Grand Slam in history.

The Six Nations puts 10 per cent of its overall profits into an ‘incentive pool’, a prize fund in all but name, which can vary slightly from year to year but this tournament is expected to come to around €13.7 million (or £12 million), from which the winning country pockets roughly €4.23 million with a sliding scale down to around €1 million for the country which finishes last.

While it has been widely reported that a Grand Slam-winning country earns €6.85 million out of a prize fund of €18.25 million, the distribution from the incentive pool from the Six Nations profits is both slightly less and more complicated.

But the reward for finishing first is swelled by a bonus of an estimated €900,000, which in turn means the other five countries’ share is reduced almost €200,000 apiece. Hence, the IRFU will receive about €5.15 million.


While this is relatively small compared to the revenues generated by all six competing countries through broadcasting deals and sponsorship, it is still a welcome windfall for the IRFU, who would conservatively budget for a fourth-place finish of €2.86 million.

Of course, a large chunk of this goes towards the Irish squad’s bonus pool, which is estimated to be circa €1.5-2 million in light of them winning the Grand Slam, and is paid out on an appearance-based sliding scale. That leaves over €3 million for the IRFU to invest back into the game.

To further put the Six Nations prize fund in context, South Africa received €377,000 from winning the 2019 World Rugby. Across prize money for major sporting team events, the Premier League tops the list as Manchester City earned a whopping €189.1million for winning the title back in May.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times