Australian Rugby Union today announced it will develop a world-class training facility and community sporting hub in Sydney, following a $20 million funding commitment from the Federal Coalition and the NSW State Government.
The facility – to be known as ‘Australian Rugby Development Centre’ – will be located at TG Millner Field, Marsfield, in Sydney’s North West.
TG Millner Field will be transformed into a high performance sport centre and training facility for Australia’s national Rugby teams including the Qantas Wallabies and will act as the Olympic base for Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams .
It will also feature the Ella Brothers Indigenous Education Centre, which will enable the ARU and Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMRDT) to connect more young Indigenous men and women with training and scholarship opportunities.
Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver, said it will be the first time Australian Rugby has owned a truly world-class training facility.
“The Australian Rugby Development Centre will help our elite players compete at the highest levels internationally,” Mr Pulver said.
“It will allow us to extend our work with the LMRDT and Indigenous community and it will also provide an opportunity for the whole Rugby and broader community to access a new community sporting facility.
“We’re a sport that involves more than 300,000 boys, girls, men and women nationally, and it’s great to see our involvement in local communities and the importance of our national teams recognised to help us create a truly world-class training and community facility.
“The Australian Rugby Development Centre will use the existing footprint at TG Millner and will retain the character of the existing Eastwood Rugby Club and other existing on- site services.”
The Australian Rugby Development Centre will feature an indoor pool, gym, IT and analysis centre, altitude training room and onsite accommodation.
It will also act as a base for visiting school, regional and international teams.
“Importantly, it will be a community facility, providing access to medical and allied health facilities and access to a world-class health and fitness facility,” Mr Pulver said.
“The on-site childcare centre will also remain, and all facilities will be available for use by other sports and community groups.”
Eastwood Rugby joined the ARU in welcoming the commitment to fund the Centre.
Eastwood Rugby President Brett Papworth, in a joint statement with Peter Robinson, Chairman of Vimiera Recreation Grounds Ltd (the owner of complex), said, "We are excited about our partnership with the ARU which would see the Centre located at TG Millner, the home of Eastwood Rugby.
“This announcement not only gives the ARU an outstanding base from which to develop the game but it also secures the long term future of Eastwood Rugby.
This announcement also allows us to pay tribute to the visionaries who built the amazing TG Millner complex."
The Federal Coalition has pledged to provide $10 million in funding towards the project if elected at the upcoming Federal Election and the New South Wales Government has committed an additional $10 million. The Australian Rugby Union would provide $5 million towards the project.
“We look forward to working with the State Government, a Federal Coalition Government, the local community, the TG Millner Trust and Eastwood Rugby Club to develop a funding agreement and timeline to deliver this great facility for Australian Rugby and the local community,” Mr Pulver said.