12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The International Rugby Board said gates for the six-week tournament topped 1.9 million fans with an average of 39,580. Ticket sales netted 30.4 million pounds. Total receipts were 81.8 million pounds, compared to the 70 million pounds in 1999, and 3.3 million pounds at the inaugural tournament in 1987 when the surplus was one million pounds.
But the Board admitted some of the smaller countries had been unable to field their strongest teams because clubs refused to release players and promised to do more to bolster the rugby minnows.
"It is recognised that greater attention must be paid to closing the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'," the Board said. And the money made from last year's tournament will be used to fund rugby's development over the next four years. Four million pounds was shared out by the 20 teams at last year's tournament. Each team received at least 150,000 pounds, the quarter-finalists received 250,000 pounds and the semi-finalists 300,000 pounds.
AFP - 2004.