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Brumbies back new facilities to spur finals push

From left, Andrew Fagan, David Pocock, Andrew Barr, Stephen Moore, and Stephen Parker in front of the proposed new Brumbies HQ site at the University of Canberra.

From left, Andrew Fagan, David Pocock, Andrew Barr, Stephen Moore, and Stephen Parker in front of the proposed new Brumbies HQ site at the University of Canberra. Photo: Rohan Thomson

The ACT Brumbies hope their move to the University of Canberra will give them a competitive advantage over their Super Rugby rivals as they attempt to end a 10-year absence from the finals.

As revealed in The Canberra Times, the Brumbies, university and ACT government have committed to a $15 million sports hub in Bruce that will be built in the next 18 months.

The government's $5 million is for community sport, with ACT Sport ready to move its offices from Hackett to the university campus.

A host of smaller sports will follow the Brumbies, and Canberra United and the Canberra Capitals are also set to benefit from the new multipurpose facility, with the university already in talks with a variety of organisations.

The new building has the ability to be extended in two different directions as more sports move into the facility, which will include a high-tech gym, sports science areas and a new rugby training field.

The Brumbies will be the first to move at the end of next year, with architects to begin on a design in the next two months.

''We want the best rugby program in Australia and by doing this we can provide facilities and programs that can't be matched my our competitors,'' Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said. ''It's been a good 12 months … it's about trying to be the best in an elite, high-performance industry as well as promoting rugby and we can do that with an announcement like this.''

The university attracted criticism earlier this year for its major sponsorship deal with the Brumbies while it cut back on some courses. However, it has renewed its naming-rights deal for at least one more season.

Vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Parker was adamant linking with the Brumbies would make the Bruce campus the leading sport university in Australia.

''UC's a big community, people will have different views,'' he said. ''But my role is to lead the institution and we have to have ambition, we have to make our mark and we can do that. Our sports studies degrees are attractive already … and part of the chemistry of this arrangement is we can attract more people from outside Canberra.''

The government's contribution is dependent on Labor being re-elected on Saturday and is based around developing community sports.

ACT Sport boss Mark Cartwright was excited at the prospect of a sporting hub.

''We are conscious this is an election commitment and the detail needs to be looked at, but it's certainly a positive show and the potential is significant,'' he said.

''The University of Canberra is keen to establish both high performance and community as their identity and I think it's only natural they'll look to accommodate a wide range of stakeholders.''

It will be a major upgrade for the Brumbies. In their current changing rooms 35 players share three showers, and the club is waiting for its development application for its Griffith headquarters to be approved so it can build an apartment complex.

''Having a world-class facility does help,'' star recruit David Pocock said. ''The [Western] Force got a new facility last year and it changed the place and the attitude.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
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