- Turf to be laid on NSWRL field adjacent to Stadium Australia within weeks. Construction underway on Centre of Excellence;
- New NSWRL Centre of Excellence will be home to the NSW Blues, NSW Women’s Team, Country Rugby League, KARI, Men of League Foundation and Referees;
- Stadium Australia will host a historic first stand-alone Sunday Holden State of Origin match on Sunday 24 June 2018.
Caption: NSWRL Chairman Dr. George Peponis, NSW and Jillaroos player Corban McGregor, Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres and Brad Fittler at the unveiling of the Foundation Stone at the site of the NSWRL Centre of Excellence
CONSTRUCTION of the NSWRL Centre of Excellence has officially commenced with the Minister for Sport, The Hon. Stuart Ayres MP today laying the Foundation Stone for the high-performance facility in Sydney Olympic Park.
NSWRL Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM, CEO David Trodden, True Blue Brad Fittler and NSW Interstate player Corban McGregor joined the Minister to celebrate the landmark day.
“The NSWRL Centre of Excellence will provide a massive boost for Rugby League in NSW,” Mr Ayres said.
“Sport hubs of this calibre will help to drive the growth and development of players of all abilities – from grassroots to the elite level.”
The NSWRL Centre of Excellence, adjacent to Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park, will feature a full-sized training field, gymnasium, player recovery facilities and a lecture theatre, as well as the new building for specialised support and the offices of the NSWRL.
“The NSWRL Centre of Excellence will be one of the most sophisticated high-performance facilities of any sport in Australia,” Dr Peponis said.
“It will be a state-of-the-art facility aiming to ensure the future success of Rugby League in NSW. Everyone in the NSWRL family will benefit from being able to use the facility, as well as the specialist sports grounds in the precinct.”
Dr Peponis added at today’s media event: “When the NSWRL began looking for a new home we kept coming back to Sydney Olympic Park in the pre-eminent sporting precinct of Sydney and next to our home ground of Stadium Australia.”
Stadium Australia will host a historic first stand-alone Holden State of Origin match in 2018 . . . a Sunday blockbuster that promises to be one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.
Desperate to end the Queensland Maroons’ Origin dynasty, the NSW Blues will get the chance to play in front of their parochial home fans in the crucial Holden State of Origin Game II on Sunday 24 June.
Holden State of Origin Game II will be included in the 2018 Stadium Australia Membership package. Membership enquiries here. General public tickets will go on sale later this year.
The NSWRL Centre of Excellence will be linked to the Blues’ spiritual home of Stadium Australia via an underground tunnel, which will provide players with direct access to the playing arena.
The tunnel was originally built to transfer track and field athletes during the Sydney 2000 Olympics but will now be adorned with NSW Blues’ history.
The Centre of Excellence will also be the home of Country Rugby League, KARI and the Men of League Foundation.
“Country Rugby League looks forward to seeing the completion of the Centre of Excellence in 2018 and are committed to taking up residence for our head offices in the state-of-the-art facility,” CRL CEO Terry Quinn said.
“This project has been strongly supported by our Board and Members and we see the Centre of Excellence benefiting the entire game of Rugby League in the state of NSW.”
KARI Founder Paul Ralph is excited about the opportunity to work side by side with NSWRL.
“Our five-year strong association with the NSWRL brings us together as partners in the same building. It’s going to be a magnificent building and expect great things to happen from this special partnership,” Ralph said.
Men of League CEO Frank Barrett said: “We are very excited to be a part of the NSWRL Centre of Excellence. It’s wonderful to be in an office space that is Rugby League through all levels. We think it will be a perfect fit.”