The first rugby pitch constructed using Fibrelastic Turf rootzone was installed by Inscapes at the brand new Lllanelli Scarlets Stadium in South Wales.
The pitch was seeded on the 11th July and was ready for play after only a few weeks, well ahead of the first official game scheduled for 28th November.
Fibrelastic has been developed by Mansfield Sand following a research programme carried out by the STRI in order to deliver all the proven benefits of a typical fibre based rootzone but with an added extra. It offers:
• A significant reduction in surface hardness.
• An increase in surface resilience.
• A substantial increase in traction.
These three main benefits make it ideal for winter sports and dual use stadia.
Inscapes had undertaken the full construction of the pitch whilst the rest of the 15,000 seat stadium was constructed around it. The work, which included installation of drainage, irrigation and under soil heating systems, began on 4th June and was completed on 14th July, almost a month ahead of schedule. Construction involved 1750 tonnes of stone, 2000 tonnes of sand, and 1600 tonnes of Fibrelastic Turf™ rootzone. In addition to being completed ahead of time, the project was also delivered exactly to budget.
The reality of being based at the state-of-the-art £23m Parc y Scarlets has hit home as the playing squad has become used to its new stadium pitch, a fibreturf training pitch, an indoor training barn, a 2,000 sq ft gym, a cardio room, medical and physio rooms, refuelling and recovery rooms.
The players were unanimous in their praise of the new home and they admit it has given a real boost and feel good factor during training.
Skipper Simon Easterby said: "We have a fantastic new home with the best pitch in the world and now it's time to get down to business. We've trained on the pitch and we are all happy with it. Parc y Scarlets is an outstanding stadium. The pitch is superb. It'll be a great place to play rugby and a superb place to be a supporter. What we have at Parc y Scarlets is what any squad would be envious of. Top class facilities for training, a superb modern environment for the team to really raise their performance - we have everything at our disposal here."
Chief executive Stuart Gallacher is pleased to see the Scarlets in their new home. "This really is a world-class rugby facility - the scope of what we can offer our players here is second to none. From the latest pitch technology in the stadium to the indoor training facilities, through to the high-tech second training pitch and the very latest conditioning and fitness equipment, this stadium has been designed for us to operate at the very top level."
The stadium hosted the first Scarlets game in the new venue on Friday, 28thNovember against European champions and current Magners League leaders, Munster.
The game was a close, tough encounter which Munster eventually won 18-16. The feedback from the groundstaff, players and physio was extremely positive. A superb surface for rugby!