Newcastle Falcons today announced that work continues on the installation of an artificial rugby turf (3G synthetic) pitch, ahead of the 2014-15 season.
The surface is being installed by leading artificial grass pitch providers SIS Pitches, who were responsible for the installation of the 3G playing surface at Saracens’ Allianz Park stadium.
The grass pitch at Kingston Park experienced a number of issues over recent seasons resulting in an inconsistent and heavy surface in a number of areas. The club applied for planning permission to Newcastle City Council to change to an artificial rugby pitch, which was granted late in May.
Approval from the Premiership Rugby Board was granted on 11 March 2014 and the club is now working closely with the RFU Facilities Department to ensure that the pitch meets the appropriate IRB standards ahead of the 2014-15 season.
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Everyone associated with the club is extremely excited at the prospect of having a 3G pitch at Kingston Park.
“The new surface will undoubtedly produce a more free-flowing entertaining style of rugby at Kingston Park. There is also the potential for community use of the pitch on and around match days which will benefit the sport in our region.”
“Once again Aviva Premiership Rugby is showing itself to be an innovative league with the Falcons our second club - following Saracens - installing a new artificial surface,” said Phil Winstanley, the rugby director at Premiership Rugby.
“At the March board meeting its installation at Kingston Park was given unanimous support. Everyone has seen what a huge difference the pitch has made at Allianz Park, making it a wonderful community resource and ensuring that the surface is always playable, irrespective of the weather. I would expect the artificial surface to have the same effect at Newcastle Falcons, making the club become an even bigger part of the community.”
Commenting on the new project at Kingston Park George Mullan, chief executive at SIS Pitches, said “We are delighted to have been chosen to install the new artificial rugby turf pitch for Newcastle Falcons. With SIS being a Cumbrian company and a good proportion of the workforce coming from the north east the Falcons are our local club.
“We have seen over the recent seasons a number of clubs benefited from the installation of a 3G pitch and we know from what we have seen at those grounds, that the surface will be a big plus for the players and the Falcons’ supporters.”