Two of Leinster's Lions stars score with profits off the park
RUGBY stars Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney have enjoyed a win off the pitch with their finances.
Accumulated profits at Heaslip's company Sabra Management more than doubled in the year to the end of last June, hitting €58,310.
The company's assets include investments valued at €95,000.
The 29-year-old's business interests include a share in the expanding Jo-Burger firm that includes Dublin restaurants Crackbird and Skinflint.
But the cash pile at Heaslip's firm last year fell sharply to €2,047 from €11,138.
Capped 57 times by Ireland, Heaslip succeeded Brian O'Driscoll as Ireland captain in January of this year.
Separate accounts filed with the Companies Office by Kearney's Willville Promotions Ltd show that its accumulated profits increased by 113pc in the year to the end of December 2011 to €123,247.
Cash increased to €128,455 from €68,539 during the period.
The Co Louth man has played 47 times for Ireland and represented the Lions in the 2009 series against South Africa.
The two Leinster stars were last week named as two of the nine Irish internationals for the upcoming Lions tour of Australia. If the Lions win the test series, the players will receive bonuses of between £15,000 (€17,756) and £20,000.
Frankie Sheahan, managing director of sports management firm Front Row, said the earning potential of Ireland's nine Lions players has increased with their call-up.
"The call-up for the Irish players brings them to a new tier commercially. They are part of an elite now. It goes without saying that the players are now more attractive to sponsors," Mr Sheahan said.
However, Mr Sheahan – who counts Munster and Ireland player Peter O'Mahony among the players he represents – warned commercial opportunities for players were limited.
He said: "It will be up to the players' representatives to find those sponsorship opportunities."