Moore Park to become home of ARU and national teams

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A new ARU development at Moore Park  will bring all the national sides and the game’s administration together for the first time.

The Australian Rugby Development Centre will act as the code’s national headquarters as well as a training base for the Wallabies, Sevens and junior representative sides.

The five-and-a-half storey building will sit on the current member’s carpark on Moore Park Rd and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

The Wallabies have previously used Super Rugby club facilities in the lead up to Tests, depending on where they’ve been based.

Australia’s Sevens teams will be those most affected by the shift, coming in from Narrabeen to the new Moore Park site.

A 30x20m indoor training pitch will be used for some drills, coupled with the current Moore Park fields.

The ARDC will feature an indoor gym. Photo: Supplied

ARU high performance manager Ben Whitaker said the move would unite the organisation.

“For us it’s about collaboration and communication and that’s a huge benefit that the Super Rugby sides currently have, with all the elements of their franchises being in one location,” he said.

“It means we can share knowledge from the Wallabies and Wallaroos to Sevens and national youth teams in one place and everyone feels close to all parts of the organisation.

"We want to make we open up the facility and knowledge to the whole rugby community.

“No facility, however special, is going to be a magic fix but having a central home that is purpose built around performance is obviously advantageous."

Community clubs and schools could also potentially use the facility, depending on availability.

The ARDC will feature:
High performance facility for ARU national teams, junior development squads and Indigenous rugby
Indoor training hall and rooftop running track
UTS research facility for sport and exercise science

The ARU has partnered with the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to build the ARDC,with the university to use one level as a research base for its sports exercise and management programs.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said the facility, part-funded by the ARU, the SCG Trust, UTS and the Federal and NSW Governments, would be a boost for the sport and the local community.

“The ARDC will greatly enhance the sustainability and success of Australian Rugby," said ARU CEO, Bill Pulver. “It provides a new home for Australian Rugby in a terrific sporting precinct.”

“Co-locating with UTS will provide exceptional benefits and enable us to develop better high-performance environments for our Qantas Wallabies, Wallaroos, Qantas Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams, and junior representative teams.

“The ARDC will also have a strong connection to the wider Rugby community and the local community. It will feature a cafe, Rugby museum and multiple rooms available for community use.”

SCG Trust chief executive Jamie Barkley said the switch to Moore Park made sense.

“"The development of a world-class sporting, education and community hub confirms the future of rugby and UTS at Moore Park,” he said.

“The precinct is home to all NSW Waratahs home games, the Sydney Sevens and one Wallabies Test per year.”

Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo: Getty ImagesThe ARDC has been designed by Populous, the company behind ANZ Stadium, Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium and the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

UTS vice-chancellor Attila Brungs said it would be a positive to be so close to elite athletes and coaches.

“UTS has forged a long history of excellence in sports science education and research and nurtured a number of elite athletes among its students. Our students and researchers are already benefitting from being part of the precinct and we are excited by what the future holds with this new partnership and the ARDC facility.”

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