Leinster & Ireland international tight-head prop Tadhg Furlong has become one of Irish Rugby's top earners after he signed his three-year contract extension with the IRFU in December, 2017.
The Campile native featured heavily for the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand last summer, starting all three Tests before continuing his destructive form in guiding Ireland to a third Grand Slam in March and Leinster to a fourth Champions Cup victory last weekend.
Having committed his future to Irish Rugby until June 2021, Furlong was deservedly rewarded with a salary of €500,000-plus, leaving him third on the IRFU wage ladder behind Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton.
As many players seek opportunities abroad following Rugby World Cups, ensuring Furlong remains centrally contracted post-Japan 2019 will turn out to be a shrewd piece of business from Irish Performance Director David Nucifora.
The significant pay increase Furlong received was due to his soaring market value and an attempt to warn off interest from mega-spending French and English clubs. An international prop playing in the Top 14 in France can earn up to €600,000 per season, which is an attractive incentive for any professional
“I can’t say I seriously looked away but you poke your head out to look at your value,” Furlong admitted last December. “It might be the case after this contract that I might move away and look at different experiences, a different rugby culture outside the bubble. It’s more lucrative to move away but I had to look at the pros and cons of such a move.
The danger for the IRFU lies on the loose-head side of the scrum as first-choice Leinster & Ireland props Cian Healy and Jack McGrath are out of contract following the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.