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High-performance facility being built for Irish rugby

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A high-performance rugby facility will be developed in Ireland as the nation’s governing body for the sport ramps up its bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is preparing to invest €2m (£1.8m, US$2.3m) in the facility, which will include a gym, a covered half-pitch training facility and three full-sized outdoor rugby pitches.

It will be part of Sport Ireland’s National Indoor Arena, located on the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown, and will be used by all of Ireland’s international men’s and women’s teams.

Shane Ross, minister for transport, tourism and sport, unveiled the project, which is expected to be completed by 2019 to “further support Ireland’s bid” to host the Rugby World Cup four years later.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said the centre – the first-ever central training base for Irish rugby – would be a “significant leap forward” for the sport.

“It is recognised that year-on-year teams competing against the best in the world must improve performance, and this project will allow all those who work at developing Ireland’s top athletes to come together in a centre of excellence, which can foster shared learning and development of Ireland’s elite athletes across all codes,” he added.

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A high-performance rugby facility will be developed in Ireland as the nation’s governing body for the sport ramps up its bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
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IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said the facility would be a 'leap forward' for Irish rugby / Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images
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