LIMERICK Institute of Technology have offered to build a training base that would be ‘unrivalled in Europe’ in terms of facilities in order to woo Munster Rugby to its Moylish campus on a full-time basis.
Three institutions, LIT, the University of Limerick and Cork Institute of Technology have submitted proposals for the centralisation of Munster’s training base - currently divided between Limerick and Cork, a situation described as “a complete logistical nightmare” by outgoing manager Shaun Payne recently.
All three institutions have submitted proposals to Munster and chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald has indicated that an independent consultant will be appointed to examine them.
LIT and UL both confirmed that they had submitted proposals, but while further detail was not immediately forthcoming from UL, LIT president Dr Maria Hinfelaar said the Moylish college had “put forward an attractive proposal to Munster and the IRFU for hosting a single, state-of-the art training facility for their teams”.
“The training centre would be developed on a single site and would include all the required facilities to meet the elite standards required by one of the world’s leading club/provincial rugby sides,” she said.
“LIT is, of course, adjacent to the home of Munster rugby, Thomond Park, so there is a great opportunity for synergies between LIT and Munster. We would naturally work side by side with Munster throughout the process to ensure they have exactly the type of training facilities to deliver success on the playing field.
“We are confident that we have submitted a very competitive proposal and look forward to the outcome,” she added.
LIT’s proposal is understood to be economically advantageous to Munster.
Garrett Fitzgerald has declared that no decision will be made immediately, but admitted it was time to seriously examine the possibility of establishing a potential full-time base for the two time Heineken Cup winners.
“It will probably be the end of August before we can further discuss the matter and if we were to take a decision one way or another it would be at least 18 months to two years before there would be any move,” he said.
“It would have to go for ratification to the Branch and would involve building facilities at one of the three places and considerable planning would be involved,” he added.
The Munster chief said that the decision would be made purely as an economic one.
“We’re running a business and it is absolutely going to be a business decision at the end of the day.”
Munster legend and current Mayor of Limerick Cllr Gerry ‘Ginger’ McLoughlin recently said that Limerick would be the “natural fit” for a single base for the province.