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Worms turned out for Murrayfield's perfect pitch

A NEW pitch has finally been laid at Scotland's national rugby stadium in a bid to expel an infestation of worms that has wreaked havoc with the turf.

GRASS MASTER: The new partly artificial pitch has to be carefully tended by stadium staff but should recover better from the impact of big games. Pictures: SNS
GRASS MASTER: The new partly artificial pitch has to be carefully tended by stadium staff but should recover better from the impact of big games. Pictures: SNS

The hybrid playing surface, known as Desso Grassmaster, is estimated to have cost around £1.25 million and combines artificial fibres and natural grass.

It is already installed at venues including Twickenham, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and Newlands in Cape Town, and there are plans to lay it at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The Scottish Rugby Union took the decision to replace the existing turf at Murrayfield after waging a futile war against an infestation of worms which had burrowed into its roots.

The problem was first noticed at the start of the season, but until now ground maintenance staff had been spraying a garlic solution over the surface to drive the worms off, as they hate the pungent smell.

The new pitch has artificial fibres injected into the top layer of soil to help anchor the natural grass.

It has a faster recovery time than pure grass after the pounding a game gives it.

It is the governing body's biggest single capital investment in 20 years.

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