Speculation has arisen that proposals are under way for a new purpose-built facility between Leinster Rugby and UCD on the college’s grounds, with an annual rent costing €500,000. If the move were to go ahead, the overall operation would be expected to cost somewhere in the region of €2.5m.
The University Observer understands that private benefactors will provide the funding should the proposals come into fruition, despite a reduction in the Leinster Rugby defecit due to a major hike in ticket sales last year.
Leinster Rugby are currently based in Riverview and have their offices in Donnybrook adjacent to its recently renovated stadium, which opened in 2008.
UCD and Leinster Rugby share a long history and the latter already already avails of UCD’s all-weather and regular pitches for training purposes. Leinster players such as Fergus McFadden and Brian O’Driscoll began their rugby careers by playing for UCD Rugby. Club insiders say that Leinster Rugby wish to erect a facility adjacent to the UCD campus in the former Phillips building at Clonskeagh, which is owned by UCD. UCD Boat Club currently use this facility to house their equipment.
Leinster Rugby declined to comment when contacted by The University Observer on the matter, as the team’s training and administrative set-up currently does not permit club officials to comment on the issue.
A spokesperson for UCD declined to comment on the speculation.
There is no official contract in place between the two bodies at the time of going to print, however speculation has intensified in recent days, with reports in The Irish Times verifying the validity of these rumours.