One fact was overlooked amidst all the hype of the Wales v England 6 Nations opener
The Millennium Stadium hosted its first RBS 6 Nations match on the new hybrid pitch last Friday night
The Desso Grassmaster installation is a state-of-the-art system which intertwines grass turf with millions of artificial fibres. The system aims to strengthen the quality of the playing surface in line with the most advanced sports stadia in the world.
The £3.1 million venture, part-funded by Welsh Government, also includes new state-of-the-art ‘plug and play’ facilities for media and a Terraplas covering to protect the surface during non-pitch events such as rock concerts and motorsports.
The new pitch was first used during the autumn’s Dove Men Series when Wales ended their campaign with a win over South Africa after facing New Zealand, Fiji and Australia on home turf.
For the first time ever in the history of the Millennium Stadium, the pitch will remain in situ all year round – with the very same hybrid fibres providing the stage for all of the upcoming 12 international matches at the venue in 2015.
Head of Physical Performance Adam Beard praised the surface ahead of the Wales v England clash. He said:
“The new state of the art pitch is a big step up from the old surface at the Millennium Stadium. There are a range of pitch diagnostics that the physical performance team take prior to each outing on the surface and there is a significant difference to what we had previously and we are very happy with what have now. Not only does it look good but also it performs very well. We have constant dialogue with the ground staff who work hard to ensure it meets the requirements of the international game. The surface is hard and fast underfoot providing a great platform for the sides and hopefully a great spectacle for the supporters.”
We all remember what the playing surface used to look like so to see it resembling a billiard table last Friday added to the spectacle.
Lets hope when the green green grass of home welcomes the men in green on March 14 the bounces go Wales way.