Leinster reveal benefactor behind move to new home
THE DEVELOPMENT of Leinster rugby’s new €2.5 million facility on the UCD campus was primarily funded by businessman David Shubotham.
Shubotham donated €2.2 million with the rest coming from Bank of Ireland private banking and Lotto money transferred from the Donnybrook stadium development.
Joe Schmidt’s playing squad followed the administrative arm of the organisation up to the state-of-the-art building last June.
Due to a debt on the Donnybrook stand, built in 2008, Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson confirmed the move to the new facility would not have been possible without private funding.
Shubotham is a former director of Davy Stockbrokers, where Dawson previously worked. Both are members of Lansdowne RFC.
Dawson also confirmed the selling of naming rights for the RDS Showgrounds are some way off becoming a reality. It means the modernisation of Leinster’s primary home venue will not begin until “2012/13 at the earliest” when they hope to develop a 23,000 capacity stadium.
“Even after a naming rights deal is secured we would have to renegotiate our current agreement with the RDS,” said Dawson.
Meanwhile, despite ticket sales passing the 5,300 mark, Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has named a second string team to face Gloucester at the Tallaght stadium this evening (kick-off 5pm). The frontline internationals remain in pre-season, due to IRFU policy, so are unavailable for selection.
Schmidt also confirmed yesterday that Seán O’Brien requires further surgery on a hip problem and is not expected to resume playing until late November.
The situation is even more precarious for Luke Fitzgerald with the 24-year-old not expected to recover from neck surgery until January. Again, this is best case scenario.
Rhys Ruddock, Dave Kearney (both hip operations) and Eoin O’Malley (cruciate) should return in November while Tadhg Furlong and Conor Gilsenan, stand-out performers at the under-20 World Cup, require more time to recover from shoulder reconstruction and a broken ankle respectively.
Leinster’s latest South African locking experiment, Quinn Roux, arrived in Dublin last Thursday so is not considered fit enough to feature today. Former Leinster Academy graduate and Connacht winger Shane Monahan lines out for Gloucester.
LEINSTER: D Hudson; A Boyle, C O’Shea, N Reid, F Carr; I Madigan, J Cooney; J McGrath, A Dundon, J Hagan; D Browne, T Denton; B Marshall, S Jennings (capt), L Auva’a. Replacements: T Sexton, J O’Connell, M Moore, J Murphy, D Ryan, L McGrath, C Marsh, S Coghlan-Murray, J Tracy, B Macken.