The Welsh Rugby Union could earn 20% of IRFU profits from the 2023 World Cup

A deal, going back to 1998 could see the WRU earn millions if Ireland hosted the tournament

The Welsh Rugby Union could earn 20% of IRFU profits from the 2023 World Cup

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Colm O'Neill

Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid could give the Welsh Rugby Union a badly-needed financial boost.

According to the Western Mail, the Welsh Rugby Union are entitled to 20% of any profits the IRFU make make from hosting the World Cup. The deal goes as far back as 1998, before Wales hosted the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

In 1999, Ireland, England, Scotland and France all hosted matches despite Wales being the host nation. In 2007, games were held in Cardiff and Edinburgh, despite France hosting the event. Last year, Cardiff also hosted matches as England hosted the tournament.

The Western Mail claim that the 1998 deal allowed profits from the following year's World Cup to be shared between the five unions. The paper claim that "would effectively be bound to pay a fee to the WRU of at least 20% of the net financial benefits generated - effectively the profit after accounting for costs and a fee paid to the game’s world governing body World Rugby."

In a statement released to Newstalk Sport, the IRFU revealed they were in constant communication with their Welsh counterparts.

"As is widely known, ahead of the 1999 Rugby World Cup various agreements were entered into between each of the home unions and the FFR with the WRU around the costs and revenues of the 1999 tournament.

The IRFU and the WRU will discuss the 1999 agreement, given the dramatic increase in the profile, scale and costs associated with the staging of a Rugby World Cup (which includes a substantial tournament fee of £120m).

Both Unions will continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation, to ensure the support of their mutual interests, but without affecting Ireland’s bid to host RWC 2023.

World Rugby has already stipulated that it wishes Unions bidding to host RWC 2023 to only include venues within its territory, and this is also in keeping with the objective of the IRFU and both Governments"

The decision as to who will host the 2023 tournament will be made in November 2017. Ireland are vying with South Africa and France to host the event.