0 New turf to end stadium parasites

Millennium Stadium manager Gerry Toms explains why the pitch had to be replaced

A new pitch is to be laid at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff after a parasite was found in the pitch.

Investigations have found root knot nematodes in the grass affected the quality of parts of the stadium's turf.

The stadium said the old pitch was safe but could not be fully treated in time for autumn rugby internationals starting against South Africa on 8 Nov.

Managers called in pitch consultants following criticism of the surface from Wales football captain Craig Bellamy.

Bellamy said it was "not the greatest pitch" after Wales won a World Cup qualifier 2-0 against Liechtenstein earlier this month

The consultants' report found the presence of the parasites, which attack grasses and crops.

'Grass quality'

Stadium manager Gerry Toms said a new pitch was needed because treating the existing turf would take a number of weeks.

"The nature of this condition means that over the weeks ahead the grass quality would decline while the treatment was becoming effective.

"Clearly the window for recovery would be too small for the autumn games.

"We are fortunate to have a removable pitch so we were able to take the option of getting a new turf cover to replace the old one," he added.

"It will have time to bed in before the first autumn game and we will be free of any concerns about whether the treatment is working."

The stadium said the new pitch would be cheaper to install because only the grass would be replaced, leaving the existing soil and pallets in place.

Originally the pitch was replaced three times a year but improvements in care and organisation of events mean there are now usually two changes each year.

Wales play South Africa on 8 November in the first of their autumn internationals, followed by matches against Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Source:- BBC News

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