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Scotland
Murrayfield 'pudding' to be replaced with hybrid pitch
ESPN Staff
February 5, 2014

Better late than never

© Daily Mail
  • The SRU has finally bowed to the inevitable but only after it was backed into a corner. It has been unfortunate with the parasitic infection and the weather, but the writing was on the wall in the autumn internationals when the pitch ripped apart at the slightest contact.

    At that point the board should have acted but it delayed and held back from committing to making a vital investment.

    Money is tight but all boards need to realise that the game - the product as the beancounters would have it - is at the core of the sport. That means the top players have to play of the best surface. It is ridiculous to expect professional athletes to ply their trade on pitches that would shame a club B XV.

The Scottish board has bowed to the inevitable and announced it will rip up the pitch at Murrayfield over the summer and replace it with a state-of-the-art hybrid surface as used at Twickenham.

The pitch this season has been infected with parasites which have caused damage to the root structure of the grass. In the autumn internationals the surface ripped apart and there are growing fears it will do the same in the Six Nations after remedial work failed.

The SRU has come under increasing criticism for its handling of the situation and also for failing to invest in a new synthetic surface until effectively backed into a corner.

The new pitch is 40% synthetic and 60% natural grass and is popular among players.

"A new hybrid grass pitch will be installed later this year to be ready for the start of the 2014-15 season," the SRU's director of management services, Mark Laidlaw, said. "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.

"We are making this significant investment because, as we've said previously, we are concerned at the problems our pitch and others within the UK and beyond have experienced of late. We have been affected by a parasitic infection this season."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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