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The Rugby Australia Building was officially opened in Sydney today and is the first facility of its kind in Australia to house iconic national sporting teams alongside one of the country's leading tertiary education institutions.
Federal Member for Reid, Craig Laundy and Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Sport, shared the honours in unveiling the plaque at the new home of Rugby Australia and University of Technology Sydney's sport and exercise science and physiotherapy programs, situated on Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust land.
Backed by significant investments by the Australian Government and NSW State Government, the Rugby Australia Building will see more than 100 sporting professionals co-locate with over 700 students and researchers in a facility that provides access to world-class amenities, including state-of-the-art training and research spaces and high-performance laboratories.
The Rugby Australia Building is the new home of the Qantas Wallabies, Buildcorp Wallaroos and the Qantas Australian Sevens teams and a national headquarters for Indigenous and grassroots Rugby development. The building is also the new base for the Rugby Australia administration and there is a separate purpose-built broadcast centre for Rugby.com.au to live stream and create online content.
Mr Laundy said the project had already paid major dividends for Australians during construction, and will draw in major events, conferences and regional symposiums in the coming years.
"This project, which the Turnbull-Joyce Government committed $10 million toward, has created 1,100 jobs during construction and will create another 20 ongoing jobs, continuing the Australian Government's commitment to support economic growth across the nation," said Mr Laundy.
"In addition to the coaching offices, indoor training field, gym, video review room and study areas, the new facility will showcase the game's history - ingraining a strong culture of ‘Rugby' into our youngsters."
The Hon Stuart Ayres MP, NSW Minister for Sport said: "This will be an integrated sports hub, that not only benefits grass roots rugby, but a generation of students and researchers working alongside elite athletes and coaches."
Rugby Australia Chairman, Cameron Clyne said: ‘"The realisation of this truly world-class high- performance and office facility wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Australian Government and the NSW State Government and we thank them for their significant investment in the future of Australian Rugby."
"Our co-location with UTS, integrated within one of the nation's leading sporting precincts will provide tremendous benefits for our national high-performance programs. The new headquarters will not only greatly enhance the sustainability and success of Australian Rugby, but will strengthen our connection with the wider Rugby community and the local community who will have access to the facilities," said Mr Clyne.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the partnership will allow academics and students to work alongside elite athletes, offering high-impact learning and research outcomes for students and scholars as well as benefits for sportspeople
"This creates unmatched opportunities for UTS students seeking internships and careers within leading sports organisations. This has already proven to work with a number of UTS PhD students already involved with the Sydney Swans, Sydney Roosters and other local clubs," said Professor Brungs.
UTS research would support talent identification, development and performance, injury minimisation and best-practice recovery and rehabilitation.
Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust Chairman Tony Shepherd said the arrival of UTS is a game-changer for the sporting industry and the ARU will now join several major clubs and codes who call the SCG precinct home.
"Rugby belongs at the SCG and Allianz Stadium. The sport has been drawing fans to our venues since the 1880s and today the Sydney Sevens and Wallabies June Test are two of our most popular events on the NSW sporting calendar.
"The facility is the newest ground-breaking development in the rich history of Sydney's home of sport," said Mr Shepherd.
The Rugby Australia Building was designed by global architecture firm Populous, managed by CBRE Project Management and delivered by AW Edwards, with construction commencing in June 2016 and completed in October.