Irish Rugby was celebrating on Saturday after securing the NatWest 6 Nations Championship for the 14th time in history, and the first time with still one game to go.
The celebration will last longer than a week as well with the prize money structure for the tournament meaning that there will be a minimum €5 Million boost again in the accounts when they are unveiled for the year ending this April, in July.
If victory over England and a historic third ever Grand Slam can be secured that would mean an extra €1 Million at least in addition.
Four years ago the Rugby income for the IRFU leapt €5.5 Million after what was reported in the Annual Accounts as strong ticket sales and a ‘better than budgeted performance in the 6 Nations.
The four year cycle has been repeated and with International Rugby income having climbed last year to €37.9 Million, this boost it would be hoped will nudge that number beyond €40 Million for the first time ever.
That would provide a firm foundation on which to grow the sport at club and provincial level and feed into continued success in the International sphere.
Joe Schmidt will never be one for looking too far ahead but for those who run the sport as opposed to the team, that has to be the horizon and in 2018 that looks brighter than we might have envisioned a mere four months ago when the prospect of hosting a Rugby World Cup slipped away.
Read More: Report on IRFU Annual Report 2016/17
Image Credit: Gary Carr, Inpho Photography