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, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 25 November 2017
Bath v Harlequins 11h15 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Zebre v Munster 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 14h00 Madejski Stadium
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0