SYDNEY, July 5, 2007 – Springboks and All Blacks beware! Young would-be Australian Wallabies will now have the opportunity to train and have their skills developed at a purpose-built National Rugby Academy.
Prime Minister John Howard was on hand earlier this week to announce the establishment of a National Rugby Academy (NRA) in Brisbane. The Federal Government will kick in A$25 million (US$21.4 million) towards the project. Prime Minister Howard said: “Rugby union needs a central focus and I believe that the contribution of this A$25 million towards the building of this Academy will provide it. We are all immensely proud of the way in which rugby has progressed in Australia over the last quarter of a century. The game’s impact on the Australian nation today is extraordinary.”
Australian Rugby Union managing director John O'Neill said the announcement was the realization of a dream for Australian rugby.
"We've talked about it, we've dreamt about it, we've had visionary moments, and as with a lot of visions, it takes money," O'Neill said.
The academy will include a high-tech gymnasium, covered training area, 50m pool and village-style accommodation and will be built in Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane.