19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
"Revenues improved by 2.1m euro overall to 59.1m with income from international matches recording an increase of 3.5m.
"This is due largely to the impact of the new Six Nations broadcasting contracts, underlining the vital importance of unfettered broadcasting partnerships to the well being of the game at all levels in Ireland, with the balance of the increase made up of the additional Six Nations match less the reduction in ticket prices.
"Commercial income also rose by 900,000 euro, thanks mainly to the new partnerships with our official kit supplier Puma as well as commercial revenues connected to the Grand Slam success last season.
"The negative side saw ground advertising reduced, indicating the precarious economic environment and how it can affect the Union's finances."
While the Union reported a surplus this year, the increase in costs overall was 2.5m to 57.5m. The costs associated with the professional game, primarily match and professional team costs saw an increase from 32m to 35m.
In line with this increase, the investment in domestic and community rugby was in excess of 11m, reflecting the Union's intent to continue to invest in the future of Irish rugby, in addition to the much valued funding of the government through the Irish Sports Council.
In respect of the balance sheet, Grace said: "The Union continue to contribute into the Aviva Stadium and the cash balances have been reduced to 1m euro (from 38m, 2009/10) as part of this commitment.
"To date, the Union has invested over 70m euro this year into the Aviva Stadium and this remains in line with the Union's long term financial plan."
In summing up, the Union's Hon. Treasurer added: "While it is satisfying to be able to report a surplus, especially given the recessionary times we live in, this primarily reflects the performance of the Irish teams.
"There are numerous risks to which the Union's revenues and costs are exposed and the management of these risks is kept under constant review.
"That said, I am pleased to be able to report that the Union remains on track to meet its medium and long term financial goals."
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