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Leinster open new €1.5 million Centre of Excellence at Donnybrook

The facility will be home to the province’s sub-academy and age-grade teams.

Updated Sep 23rd 2019, 5:00 PM

IN ANOTHER MAJOR investment in its revered player pathway system, Leinster Rugby has today officially opened a new €1.5 million training centre at Donnybrook to house the province’s sub-academy and age-grade teams.

ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-opens-in-energia-park The Ken Wall Centre of Excellence. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

The facility, which took 11 months to build, will be named the Ken Wall Centre of Excellence and is located at the Old Wesley end of Energia Park, where the old Leinster Branch offices previously were.

The 606 square metre building — funded by the Department of Sport’s Capital Funds Programme, the IRFU and by private investment — has a gym, two meeting rooms, a large open-plan office with space for 2o staff, two dressing rooms, a medical room and a kitchen.

It is the first of five new training centres planned for each of the rugby areas of Leinster, the province say. 

Monday afternoon’s opening was attended by Minister for Sport Shane Ross, Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen and members of the Wall family, who made a significant contribution to the development of the facility in memory of their late father, Ken.  

Since construction was completed in July, almost 4,000 players have availed of the facility covering the Leinster U19s, U20s, Leinster ‘A’ and women’s teams. 

“The Ken Wall Centre of Excellence would not have been possible without the significant support of the Wall family to whom we are most grateful and we hope that this Centre is a fitting tribute to their late husband and father Ken, a proud St. Mary’s College man,” Dawson said. 

ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-opens-in-energia-park The facility will be home to the Leinster sub-academy. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

“To Minister Shane Ross and the Irish Government, to the IRFU and of course to all the generous benefactors that made this dream a reality, thank you.

“This Centre is the first step in an ambitious programme of ours to have a centre in each of our five rugby playing areas, namely Metro, Midlands, North-Midlands, South-East and the North-East.

“The Metro Area is now brilliantly catered for with a state of the art, modern facility in Energia Park and the plan now is to start work on the other four.

“With news of the RDS Redevelopment hopefully not too far away, it is an exciting time for the future of Leinster Rugby and hopefully the future of the game across the 12 counties, not just for the professional team.”

ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-opens-in-energia-park It has a 210 square metre gym. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-opens-in-energia-park It cost €1.5 million to build. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

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ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-opens-in-energia-park Leinster U20s player Fionn Finlay. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

leinster-rugby-ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-general-views Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

leinster-rugby-ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-general-views Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

leinster-rugby-ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-general-views Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

ken-wall-centre-of-excellence-opens-in-energia-park The building is located at the Old Wesley end of Donnybrook. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

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