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The Scottish Rugby Union will change the surface at Murrayfield before next season

Last updated: 4th February 2014  

The Scottish Rugby Union will change the surface at Murrayfield before next season

Edinburgh's Greig Laidlaw on the problematic Murrayfield pitch

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The Scottish Rugby Union has revealed plans are in place to transform the Murrayfield pitch into a hybrid grass park in time for next season.

Murrayfield has been hit by a parasite infection this season which, coupled with the wet winter, has seen the pitch cut up badly during Scotland and Edinburgh games.

Concerns over the pitch saw the SRU announce last month that Edinburgh's RaboDirect Pro12 fixture against Ospreys on February 28 may be moved elsewhere to allow the ground to recover in between Saturday's Calcutta Cup match against England and Scotland's match with France on March 8.

The replacement surface, Desso Grassmaster, is a natural sports grass pitch reinforced by millions of artificial turf fibres, which is said to have a faster recovery than pure grass, allowing stadia to host more than 40 fixtures in a season.

The SRU's director of management services, Mark Laidlaw, described the installation of the pitch as the biggest single investment at Murrayfield since the stadium was redeveloped in 1994.

Laidlaw, said: "We are doing this primarily because this hybrid pitch is widely recognised as the best grass surface in the sporting world and we all want to see the Murrayfield playing surface restored to the pristine condition for which it is renowned.

"We are making this significant investment because, as we've said previously, we are concerned at the problems our pitch and others within the UK and beyond have experienced of late and feel that a reinforced surface is now required to meet the demands of professional rugby.

"We have been affected by a parasitic infection this season and the challenges of keeping Murrayfield accessible in probably the most challenging rugby climate in the northern hemisphere."

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