IRFU High Performance Director David Nucifora says the 10 percent pay cut across the board saved the union €5 million.
Nucifora has revealed that the IRFU are set to lose another €30 million in 2021, but he believes there is light at the end of the tunnel as the pandemic eases, with the hope that the Aviva Stadium will be close to capacity for international games by November.
The Australian says this is important for everyone, not just the national team.
"We will be able to have crowds back in during these July matches (against Japan and the USA). It's a matter of just working out what the actual numbers will be and then hopefully that gives us the ability to get hopefully close to full-houses by the time the November internationals roll around. Not only for ourselves, for the provinces. The provinces desperately need to have crowds back in. It's the lifeblood of their finances. The sooner that we can fill the stadia with people, it's going to go a long way to filling the financial hole."
Nucifora says it will take a long time for the IRFU to recover from their financial position.
"It's been well publicised - the losses. We had losses last year of €35 million. We're on course this year to lose another €30 million. They're unbelievably significant sums of money. As much as starting the game back up with crowds will help us - this is a long term issue. This is something it will take years for us to be able to claw back."
Nucifora was also asked about the departures of James Cronin from Munster and Quinn Roux from Connacht and he said those were purely professional decisions.
"You know, they are just decisions that have to be made at times. It's unfortunate, because you are dealing obviously with people, but at the same time, it's a business. You have to make business decisions as well as trying to look after them as people. And that is the way professional sport works, unfortunately."