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Thursday 18 January 2018

Recovered Bowe causes a scrum on the beach after training

Tommy Bowe in the water at St Kilda beach, where he met some of the Victoria Maidens players.
Tommy Bowe in the water at St Kilda beach, where he met some of the Victoria Maidens players.
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

THE Lions are set to share a jackpot of nearly €3m if Warren Gatland's side clinch the Test series against Australia.

Each player will receive a bonus of €14,000, on top of their €58,000 fee, should Sam Warburton's team secure a back-to-back victory at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium today.

If the Lions go on to win all three tests against the Wallabies, their bonus could rise by a further €5,000.

And it's not just the players themselves who benefit financially – the four home unions are to get a substantial fee for each international player they provide for the tour.

The overall cost of the trip is estimated at €18m. However, it is believed that the Lions' board is hopeful that a profit of more than €5m can be generated through sponsorship, TV rights and ticket sales.

A total of 30,000 fans have descended on Melbourne with the hope of witnessing a back-to-back Lions victory against the Wallabies. With today's game sold out, punters have been shelling out up to €1,000 online for a pair of match tickets.

In the starting 15 is Irish winger Tommy Bowe, who, after a recovery from a hand injury, joined his fellow Lions for a trip to the beach – and some female attention – yesterday.

Following a training session, the players had a cold-water recovery session on the beach in St Kilda, and they weren't the only sports stars in the vicinity. The Lions were mingling with a local women's American Football team, the Victoria Maidens.

Bowe was spotted introducing himself to a bikini-clad blonde. Another picture appeared to show a bevy of women following the player out of the water.

The 29-year-old broke a bone in his right hand three weeks ago, but it has recovered sufficiently to allow him to play.

SECOND TEST ACTION: SPORT P74-80

Irish Independent

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