The IRFU have confirmed that they have placed a sizeable bet on the Irish rugby team to win this year’s World Cup. The wager was placed with bookmakers, Paddy Power, and is apparently a measure to safeguard against the success of the side at the finals in New Zealand later in the Autumn.
This mornings revelation comes just days after English rugby officials admitted placing bets totalling around £250,000 to cover player and management win bonuses should England claim the biggest prize in the sport next September and October. Experts have said that this type of “insurance policy” is commonplace in modern day sport.
IRFU spokesman Karl Richardson said that the policy of ‘hedging bets’ has been undertaken by the organisation during the last three World Cups to cover the possibility of facing a huge financial hit. In an interview with today’s Irish Examiner,Richardson said:
“The practice of insuring progression of teams in professional sport is as common as insuring private houses. The IRFU, through their relationship with sponsors Paddy Power, effectively takes out an insurance policy on the performance of the team during the World Cup to allow the union to offset and minimise the financial outlay during the tournament.
“The Ireland team is the financial engine that supports all levels of rugby in both professional and domestic levels and the loss of revenue of no November games, bonuses and other financial outlays related to progression in the World Cup means that the IRFU would insure themselves against this. This is prudent governance. It would be irresponsible of us otherwise.”