NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) can confirm its Development Application (DA) to Bayside Council for its Centre of Excellence has been approved, with enabling works currently underway.
The project has been made possible thanks to $20 million funding through the NSW Government’s Centres of Excellence Program and will be located at the University of New South Wales David Phillips Sports Complex – ensuring the continuation of the long-term partnership between NSWRU and the University of NSW at Daceyville.
“The partnership with NSW Rugby Union delivers a number of benefits to UNSW, including an important contribution to the delivery of new rugby scholarships. We are delighted to have one of the most iconic and recognisable teams in the world rugby sharing the facility with us,” UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience Professor Rorden Wilkinson said.
NSW Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said the Centre of Excellence would play a vital role in the development of Australian rugby talent.
“The NSW Government’s Centre of Excellence Program is developing high performance training, administration and community facilities that are the envy of sporting administrations across the world,” Mrs Ward said.
“We are excited to support this project which will support the development of promising young and high-performance male and female rugby players and ensure the Waratahs are challenging Super Rugby titles in the future.”
The Centre of Excellence will become the home of the rugby in NSW, featuring a multipurpose space which will allow NSWRU to run its high-performance rugby programs and pathways. The facility will be a central ‘hub’ for the game at all levels – with everything from training facilities to function spaces, meeting areas and shared offices.
National Master Builder of the Year in 2016 and 2019, Kane Construction, has won the contract to deliver the build for NSWRU.
Kane Construction is known in NSW for its impressive redevelopments such as Westmead Hospital works, Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre redevelopment, Concord Library, Fairfield Showground Amenities Building, Sydney University #2 redevelopment and the Taronga Zoo Centenary Theatre.
NSW General Manager of Kane Construction Brett Moore said “Our Kane Team is proud to be delivering such an iconic new complex for NSW Rugby Union and we’re eagerly looking forward to this exciting new design taking shape in the months ahead”
The Centre of Excellence will be the envy of Australian sports teams, featuring a brand new international standard rugby field, 500m2 gym facility, medical facilities, team theatrette, analysis room, recovery spaces (hot and cold pools and sauna) and administration spaces.
NSWRU CEO Paul Doorn highlighted the significance of the DA approval for NSWRU.
“I’d like to thank the NSW Government for its generous financial assistance and our partners at the University of NSW for their help throughout this process. This state-of-the-art facility will benefit the Waratahs and rugby across New South Wales for many years to come,” Mr Doorn said.
“The future is looking incredibly bright for NSWRU and the Waratahs, with a new head coach secured in Darren Coleman, its Centre of Excellence approved and underway, and an incredible brand new home venue to play out of in 2023, there is no better place to be in Australian rugby.”
General Manager of Business Operations Adam Fulepp added that with the DA approval finalised, NSWRU would move into an important phase of the build, with the design now quickly set to turn into reality.
“Following the DA approval, execution of our construction contract, and our lease agreement finalised with our partners UNSW, we now move to critiquing the final design to ensure this is most efficient building possible,” Mr Fulepp said.
“First stage is relocation works of the current amenities, followed by demolition of the current grandstand facility before construction will commence.
“In March the refurbishment of the field begins with practical completion of the facility by the end of July 2022.”