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Scotland
Parasites sucking life out of Scottish grassroots
ESPN Staff
November 6, 2013
The Murrayfield turf has taken a battering from parasites © PA Photos
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Parasites are damaging the Murrayfield pitch, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) has confirmed.

Scotland take on Japan this weekend and SRU bosses have called in specialists to deal with the parasites. The naturally occurring nematodes are known to damage the grass root structure but SRU ground staff are already working on a solution and officials have stressed there is no danger to Saturday's match going ahead.

SRU director of management services Mark Laidlaw said: "A soil examination in September revealed an excessive build up of nematodes which have caused significant root damage. The result is a shallow and weakened root network and, though it continues to perform well in play, it can weaken under the significant pressure exerted by scrums.

"We've worked with some of the leading experts in this area to examine and treat one of the best surfaces in world rugby using natural remedies, including the spraying of garlic, but it takes a number of weeks to eradicate the problem and then to recover root strength. The ground staff will continue their efforts to develop and consolidate the root structure, and hope to return the pitch to the standard we all expect to see at the national stadium."

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