Gallery: Take a look inside Leinster's new €1.5m Centre of Excellence at Energia Park
Minister for Sport Shane Ross was on hand to officially open Leinster’s ‘Ken Wall Centre of Excellence’ in Energia Park this evening.
The Wall family, who made a significant contribution to the development, were in attendance to honour the memory of their late father, Ken.
The new Centre of Excellence is the first of five planned for each of the rugby areas of Leinster.
It came in at a cost of €1.5m and was partly funded by the Department of Sport’s Capital Funds Programme, the IRFU and the private investment.
It will be home to the Leinster Rugby Sub-Academy as well as the Leinster Age Grade programme.
"I am delighted to officially open the Ken Wall Centre of Excellence," said Minister Ross.
"The investment of Sports Capital Programme funding by my Department in this magnificent new facility will be of tremendous benefit in developing rugby from grass roots to high performance level.
"While much of the focus at the moment is on our international side, we must not neglect our upcoming stars and the players of the future in Leinster will benefit greatly from this investment."
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It is the latest step in Leinster’s long-term plan to lead the way in Europe by putting the proper building blocks in place to support and accelerate the player pathway.
"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," issued Leinster Chief Executive Mick Dawson.
"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."
Leinster Rugby begin the defence of their Guinness PRO14 title this Saturday away to Benetton Rugby and will welcome the Ospreys to the RDS Arena on Friday, 4th October for the first home game of the season.