Murrayfield goes 'hybrid'

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 20:43
Large murrayfield pitch with ball

A new hybrid pitch is ti be installed at Murrayfield for the start of next season after the once pristine pitch came under attack from parasites.

Scottish Rugby Union chiefs are to install a new hybrid pitch at their Murrayfield headquarters for the start of next season after the once pristine pitch came under attack from parasites.

But the SRU's move - which they said was "the single biggest investment in the Edinburgh ground since the stadium was reconstructed in 1994 - will be too late for Saturday's showpiece Calcutta Cup Six Nations clash against England.

The pitch was damaged by nematodes in the build-up to last year's November internationals and Scotland's ensuing matches against Japan, South Africa and Australia witnessed several worrying scenes.

Front row forwards found the ground being churned up underneath them at scrums while, unusually, even open play saw players unable to keep their feet.

Various treatments were tried, the most publicised being spraying the pitch with garlic.

So concerned were the SRU by the situation they moved Edinburgh's club games to another ground but doubts remain as to how the pitch will cope with the rigours of international rugby when England visit on Saturday.

Now the SRU is to follow the example of their counterparts in England and Ireland by installing a Desso surface of the kind already in place at London's Twickenham and Dublin's Lansdowne Road.

Desso pitches, made up of 60 percent grass interwoven with 40 percent fibre, have also been installed at Premier League football clubs Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

They are said to have a much faster recovery rate than grass, allowing grounds to host more than 40 major fixtures a season.

"We are doing this primarily because this hybrid pitch is widely recognised as the best grass surface in the sporting world and we all want to see the Murrayfield playing surface restored to the pristine condition for which it is renowned," Scottish Rugby's Director of Management Services, Mark Laidlaw, said in a statement.

Scottish Rugby Commercial Director Dominic McKay said the new pitch would preserve Murrayfield's status as a Test ground.

"This is an investment that will safeguard international rugby on Murrayfield's hallowed pitch but will also enable us to be in the market seeking out major sporting events to bring to our stadium," McKay said.

Newlands in Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin have all had the Desso pitch installed, as has the Liberty Stadium in south Wales shared by the Ospreys rugby club and Swansea City football club.

AFP

Sunwolves vs Waratahs
sast: 07h15 | local: 14h15

  • 0 | 7
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 02 July 2016
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
EP Kings v Griquas 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 15h10 Johannesburg
Kings v Highlanders 17h15 Port Elizabeth
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
Thu, 07 July 2016
Griquas v Pumas 17h00 Kimberley
Fri, 08 July 2016
Blues v Brumbies 07h35 Auckland
Reds v Chiefs 09h40 Brisbane
Eagles v Free State Cheetahs 17h00 Outeniqua Park
Lions v Kings 17h00 Johannesburg
Sat, 09 July 2016
Jaguares v Highlanders 22h00 Buenos Aires
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0