Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos today announced the commencement of construction on the new Victorian Rugby Centre of Excellence at La Trobe University Sports Park.
The site clearing works commenced in mid-June 2022 and significant progress has been made with the bulk earthworks in readiness for the commencement of work on two full-size rugby pitches and the multi-use field and the construction of the Centre of Excellence building.
The Centre, which will deliver world-class facilities for the sport and community, will become the vibrant heart of the sport for all participants, connecting the whole game in Victoria.
Specifically, it will:
- Be the training facility and home ground for the Melbourne Rebels Super W team
- Support and increase female participation through new program delivery capacity
- Create a hub for Rugby’s diverse communities, with grassroots clubs having access to facilities for development programs, along with training for volunteers, administrators, referees and coaches.
- Provide a training base for international teams, including men’s and women’s World Cup participants in 2027 and 2029.
- Be the home for Melbourne Rebels’ academies and emerging players of the Rugby Victoria Elite Pathways.
- Provide training and match day facilities for State representative teams, including all Junior Teams (girls and boys) and the Senior Australian Rugby Shield squads.
- Provide a central delivery venue for training and education programs, including the internationally recognised Quilt Program and the highly successful Rugby Victoria Pasifika Program, as well as coaching and referee accreditation courses.
- Serve as a dedicated, year-round facility to strengthen player, coach and official development in the State.
The project will deliver gender-equitable facilities including change rooms for players and referees, as well as match day amenities, a high-performance gymnasium and analysis rooms, sport science, medical and recovery facilities, and office and meeting space for Rugby Victoria’s administration.
There are two dedicated rugby fields – one with spectator facilities, as well as a shared multi-use field serving both rugby and AFL.
Rugby Union is a global sport that continues to enjoy strong growth throughout Victoria. Importantly, rugby provides opportunities for diverse communities and populations located within Melbourne’s growth areas. In particular, rugby enjoys enormous popularity among the Pacific Island community (PI), representing 68% of players in community clubs in Victoria, by far the highest percentage of PI participation in all Australian states.
The development directly integrates with La Trobe University’s leading sports education courses and programs, providing new facilities for learning and research.
The new home for Rugby forms part of the Victorian Government’s $101 million investment in the La Trobe University Sports Park Stage Three Project, which also includes the Home of the Matildas.
Importantly, the project is supporting around 600 jobs during construction.
It is envisaged that the early works package will be completed by the end of 2022, followed by the completion of the pitches and the Centre of Excellence building in late 2023.
The facility is expected to be ready for action in 2024.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos
“This project is a massive boost for rugby in Victoria and provides facilities for the Rebels Super W team that will be the envy of every team in the competition. “It’s also a big win for community rugby providing development opportunities for players and administrators, and another feather in the cap for La Trobe University’s sports education and research programs.
Quote attributable to Rugby Victoria President, Neil Hay
“We are thrilled with the progress of the project. The early works are well underway and we look forward to commencing the main works in the new year. This world-class facility will be a game changer for rugby in Victoria.”