The Irish Rugby Football Union were officially welcomed to the Sport Ireland Campus in Blanchardstown today by Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy.
The IRFU Committee were given a full tour of the IRFU’s High Performance training facility as the Ireland Men’s and Women’s sevens squads complete the move to their new home in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena.
The multi-million euro installation features three outdoor pitches as well as a 3/4 length indoor pitch, offices, medical rooms and state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facilities. As well as the Sevens players, the campus will be home to IRFU High Performance staff on a full-time basis.
Speaking at today’s event, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said:
We are delighted to see our Sevens teams move into these world-class facilities at the Sport Ireland Campus. The entire campus can only benefit sport long-term and I must commend and thank the Government and Sport Ireland for the vision and determination that has made it a reality.
“The IRFU has invested over six million euro in fitting out the facility to the spec that we need. This is an important period in the development of our High Performance teams, with the Sevens squads seeking qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Competition for places is high, but this new home will ensure the teams’ preparation will be the best it can be.”
The Ireland Sevens squads will ultimately be joined by Men’s, Women’s and age-grade 15s national squads in working on-site at the Sport Ireland Campus.
Browne added: “In the spring of next year, we anticipate that there could be as many as 200 athletes using these facilities. We’ll have a clubhouse, changing room and physiotherapy facilities outside. We have a High Performance gym and our High Performance team based here. We’re really delighted that the facility is up and running now.”
Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy said: “It really is a big step for the campus and we’re delighted to welcome the IRFU out here today.”
He told Irish Rugby TV in the above video that a hotel on campus and a new velodrome are key to the next phase of the campus’ development, stating: “We’re revising our master-plan over the summer months so we’ll be looking at what the future campus will look like. We’ll go through a consultation process with the National Governing Bodies.
“We need more office accommodation for some of our NGBs as well. We have to cater for all those needs and we have to make sure that we get everyone here who wants to be here.”