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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0