Irish rugby's top earners after latest round of contract agreements
The landscape is changing but there are some familiar faces at the top.
In the past week, the IRFU has confirmed new deals for Peter O'Mahony and Tadhg Furlong while also signing up Kieran Marmion, Conor Carey [both Connacht], Garry Ringrose, Rhys Ruddock [Leinster] and the Ulster trio of Kieran Treadwell, Luke Marshall and Rob Herring.
Deals for Iain Henderson and Rory Best have made solid progressions while the improved offer of a central IRFU contract nearly has CJ Stander over the line on a three-year deal. Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble [contracted until World Cup 2019] and possibly Rob Kearney will be moving onto provincial contracts next summer.
The latest deals have added some new names to Irish rugby's top earners list but the top dogs remain three Leinster stars and Munster's Conor Murray.
Come June 2018, this is how it will look [excluding player sponsorship agreements].
Johnny Sexton - €650,000
The Leinster outhalf is signed up until November 2019 and the conclusion of the World Cup, when he will be 34.
Jamie Heaslip - €600,000
Currently re-habbing after a serious back injury. Hopes to be back in early 2018 but no timeline to return has been set.
Conor Murray - €550,000
Another signed up until the completion of Ireland's next World Cup campaign.
Sean O'Brien - €550,000
His three-and-a-half season deal was announced back on December 22, 2015.
Peter O'Mahony - €500,000
A new entry in the top 10 and his improved central contract sees his performances and leadership over the past 18 months rightly rewarded.
Tadhg Furlong - €450,000
Robbie Henshaw - €450,000
Move from Connacht to Leinster was confirmed in February 2016 and he is signed up until after the World Cup in Japan.
Rob Kearney - €450,000 (if offered similar deal)
Expected to move to a provincial contract but his excellent outings in the Guinness Series came at a great time. Still Joe Schmidt's first-choice fullback so could get a two-year central contract extension taking him to June 2020, when he will be 34.
Cian Healy - €400,000
Along with Leinster teammate Jack McGrath, Healy is one of two loose-heads centrally contracted to the IRFU.
Rory Best - €400,000 (if offered similar, 18-month deal)
Will remain on as captain for the 2018 Six Nations, and deservedly so. Will be hoping that his years of service are rewarded with a final, well-paid contract that would see him finish up in November 2019.
Devin Toner - €400,000
Big Dev signed a three-season deal in December 2016 that takes him right up to June 2020. Has done well for Ireland ever since he was given a run of games under Joe Schmidt.
CJ Stander and Iain Henderson would be joining that €400-450k club if they sign the contracts that are presently on the table in front of them.
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