Cardiff Blues turn to artificial surface
May 24, 2013
The Arms Park surface has taken a battering this season © Getty Images
The Cardiff Blues will play on an artificial pitch at the Arms Park next season, according to reports.
The Blues have been forced to play on a poor playing surface since returning to the famous ground in 2012. There have been rumours doing the rounds for the past couple of months that they were considering turning to an artificial surface after seeing the success of Saracens' turf at the Allianz Park.
And according to reports on the BBC, work will start on the new surface in June and should be ready for their pre-season matches. They will need clearance from the Welsh Rugby Union, but that is understood to be a formality.
It is hoped the artificial surface will see a return to fast-flowing rugby with CEO Richard Holland previously bemoaning the state of the Arms Park pitch. He said: "We have Lions backs and world-class youngsters, but they can't run in mud. We are part of the entertainment industry and we can't expect fans to pay £15 or £20 or buy a season ticket."
Reports claim the Holland has already penned a deal with a supplier and they have a plan in place to cover the projected £400,000 cost. This new injection of funding could be down to London-based businessman Martin Ryan who has reportedly invested £500,000 into the region, according to Wales Online.
The news will come as a welcome boost to the Welsh regional system as they are still struggling to keep their best players in the country. At the end of this season, the Scarlets are losing star winger George North, the Blues are bidding farewell to Jamie Roberts while the Dragons have seen Dan Lydiate depart to Racing Metro.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September