Recently many rugby pitches are being installed in artificial turf and this is because of the latest technology which has been in the synthetic grass industry. Gone are the days of the plastic pitches where the playing characteristics did not mimic the sports accreditation.
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Governing bodies such as the IRB, RFU, RFL in rugby union and rugby league have done testing on these for years in making sure both the safety of the surfaces and the playing characteristics are spot on. Below shows a brief video about the new Saracens artificial turf rugby pitch on their main stadium:
As you can see the synthetic turf design and specification now has both sand and rubber in the infill of the carpet which makes the playing surface to be like natural grass and it has all the added benefits of being able to be used all year round and rented out to the public without the doubts and concerns of the natural grass being worn or damaged for the main games.
These benefits are huge because you can now start to train on these facilities saving money on rentals elsewhere and also the maintenance costs are much less because no need to water, seed and cultivate the natural grass so with the debate it is seeming to be that the synthetic turf option such as 3G artificial grass (third generation sports surfacing) is winning the battle.