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Irish Rugby
Irish stars facing pay cuts
Scrum.com
May 29, 2010

Some of Ireland's top rugby stars are facing huge pay cuts as the Irish Rugby Football Union continues its efforts to balance the books.

There are fears the enforced cuts, reportedly ranging from 30-50%, may lead to an exodus of top Irish talent to France and England as seasoned internationals Gordon D'Arcy, Shane Horgan, Peter Stringer and Marcus Horan are amongst those facing a dramatic drop in income. The news comes in the week where Leinster reported a €349,988 loss in a year that saw them claim the Heineken Cup.

Much of Ireland's recent success at provincial and international level has been based on centrally contracting top players and keeping them at home but that policy has now been reviewed with some of Ireland's biggest players set to lose out.

Reports in the Irish Independent state some players will see their salary cut from €200,000 to €120,000 as the union deals with the financial commitment of the new Aviva Stadium. Next year some of Ireland's leading players will face pay cuts as the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara are out of contract after the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

The IRFU will also reduce the number of centrally contracted players from 30 to 21, but not all the players have committed to remain in Ireland. Stringer and D'Arcy are understood to have agreed to stay with Munster and Leinster respectively, but it remains unclear whether Horan and Horgan have agreed to stay under the new terms.

The union are also planning on rowing back on financial commitments to provincial development officers at regional and community level as they look to deal with the increased costs of repayments on the new stadium.

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