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5 reasons why 3G pitches are the future for grassroots rugby

By admin on September 19, 2016

Although 3G pitches may have played an important role for some of the country’s most popular sports, they remain relatively under-used by rugby union’s community clubs. As the RFU’s National Facility Strategy gathers pace however, this could be about to change.

So why exactly could 3G rugby pitches play a pivotal role in the development of the sport?

 

Train as you mean to play

As many a rugby coach will tell you, consistency is key when it comes to the work that takes place in preparation for competitive fixtures. As such, 3G pitches give rugby clubs the opportunity to complement their facilities with a training area which can be played on all year round, with no risk of heavily worn areas or masses of mud harming the quality of play.

 

No more fixture backlogs

While the sport’s elite may be able to count on undersoil heating and the best frost covers money can buy, community rugby clubs often need all the help they can get to fulfil busy fixture schedules during the depths of winter. Artificial grass may not be completely risk-free when it comes to extreme weather conditions, but well-planned drainage and a suitable maintenance routine will keep a 3G pitch playable when natural surfaces struggle.

 

Additional revenue streams

Away from the relative riches of top-level rugby, smaller community clubs, schools, and leisure facilities often rely heavily on the income they generate from making their pitch available to hire. More play means more footfall and more wear, but the durability and versatility of a well-chosen 3G pitch means rugby clubs can act as community hubs to meet the demands of local sports players.

 

In safe hands

As with any sport, the safety of rugby players is the primary concern for every club, and this is taken into account by World Rugby’s regulation 22. TigerTurf’s rugby surfaces are certified for both Rugby Union under this very regulation, and for Rugby League in accordance with the RFL performance standards. This gives coaches, players and parents full assurance that their pitches are optimised for player safety as well as ball performance and surface durability.

 

Backed by the best

The RFU’s Framework Programme now permits a small number of carefully-chosen contractors to deliver and manage projects in order to increase the provision of artificial grass pitches.  For the first time, the use of 3G pitches for rugby has both backing and funding from the sport’s governing body, which has the potential to transform the development of the sport.

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