Rams president Fraser Vivian believes Barossa’s rugby future is “brighter than ever” following last week’s sod-turning at their new $5.2 million rugby facility.
Vivian joined representatives from Rugby Australia, Barossa Council, and state government to mark the beginning of on-site construction at Tanunda and says it’s a genuine turning point for the game.
“It’s huge for us. We’ve had a sometimes tenuous relationship with other sports at the Lyndoch facilities and it can be fraught trying to organise pre-season and managed shared facilities, so this is a massive step for rugby in the Barossa,” Vivian said.
“Having a rugby-specific field and facilities will be such a boon. We know we’re a minority sport in regional south Australia but we’ve been well supported by local council and state government and that’s really helped to push this along.”
Construction on the purpose-built venue, which will sit adjacent to the Rex and nearby local schools in the Barossa, will produce a rugby pitch, three touch football fields, LED sports lighting, all use changerooms and additional club and function spaces.
“The building timeline has it finished mid-late November and that’d be ideal so we can get some off-season touch going and be ready to jump into preseason 2024 with our new facilities,’ Vivian said.
“It’s been a long process that probably started about 6 or 7 years ago and only started coming to the fore about 3 years back but we’re happy with where we’re at - Tanunda is a great location for us and there’s been plenty of local involvement.
“We’ve got a builder from Kapunda on board for this project and we’re also starting to open dialogue about potentially having some teams based out here for future major events, maybe getting the Classic Wallabies out to have a run around.”
In a joint statement from Barossa Council and state government, Barossa Mayor Bim Lange and local member Ashton Hurn expressed their strong support for the development.
“This brand-new purpose-built facility will be a great asset for our region and seeing boots on the ground, getting it all underway is just fantastic,” Mrs Hurn said.