Munster Rugby & PST Sport: Installing Success For Generations To Come
Irish Independent Park is the focal point for rugby in South Munster. Works began in May 2018 and the project saw the existing grass surface being replaced with a 10,500m world-class artificial grass pitch.
In recent years Munster struggled with match fixtures, especially in winter and were completely weather reliant. Last year only 55 games were played at Irish Independent Park. The aim is to play significantly more games here at a higher level as well as attract more high profile games to Cork. This will benefit the sport and wider community and further enhance the development of top class rugby players, from youth players right through to international level.
“We are absolutely delighted that one of Rugby’s top clubs chose PST Sport to deliver this state-of-the-art-facility.
To meet the vision of Munster Rugby the pitch had to be the very best. This pitch will probably be used 30 hours a week, so we needed something durable but with a soft feel to it.
The new surface will allow Munster players of all ages to play on the same surface as their heroes, year-round, and whatever the weather. Now it’s over to Munster Rugby who we know will utilise this world-class facility to bring even more success to the province!”
Colin Teahon, Managing Director, PST Sport
Munster’s new artificial grass rugby surface is the most advanced in the market, anywhere in the world. In partnership with World Rugby’s Preferred Turf Producer, CCGrass, we designed an unrivalled range of carpet called Superb. Our Superb synthetic turf is extremely durable, resilient and designed to ensure player safety and true rugby performance. The pitch can be played on constantly, drains much faster than natural turf & will last at least 12 years.
Philip Quinn, Head of Finance & Operations for Munster Rugby was delighted with PST Sport’s knowledge and expertise as well as product quality.
“After careful consideration, Munster Rugby decided in early 2018 to convert the natural grass pitch at Irish Independent Park to an artificial grass surface. This was a huge decision for the province and choosing the right company to carry out the project was critical. After a competitive tender process where World Rugby Approved consultants were engaged to assess product quality, PST Sport came out on top.
Our experience with PST has been superb – they are definitely the best contractor we have dealt with in Irish Independent Park. Nothing has been an issue and they have hit every deadline and promise. PST Sport, along with their manufacturing partner CCGrass designed a bespoke artificial grass product specifically for Munster Rugby. The feedback from both professional and amateur players alike has been fantastic.
We would absolutely recommend PST Sport for any club or school considering installing an artificial grass pitch.”
Philip Quinn, Head of Finance & Operations, Munster Rugby
Pictured below: PST Sport’s Managing Director, Colin Teahon, Operations Director, Ger Teahon & Business Development Manager, Kieran Donaghy checking out the newly installed artificial grass surface at Irish Independent Park
“For the young player in the province, you are planting the seed and the dream of playing for Munster. If you are going from 50 to 150 games a year at Musgrave Park, you’ll have more than twice the number of youngsters having the dream.”
Kieran Donaghy, Business Development Manager, PST Sport
Artificial Turf Technology
PST Sport’s Superb artificial grass carpet has a pile height of 60mm, however only 18mm of the fibre is visible as it has specially selected round sand and recycled rubber carefully brushed into it to mimic soil in natural turf.
The pitch is designed to:
- Offer a fast and safe game
- Promote skillful, running rugby
- Reduce time at scrums
- Provide all players with the best rugby experience
The provision of a sub-base within the pitch construction contains approximately an inch of kiln dried, extra fine sand and beneath this layer is about 8,000 tons of stone that is carefully compacted to an advanced level of evenness. Our specially devised two-fibre carpet was engineered to provide ‘stability’ and ‘give’ and will be especially beneficial to players at scrum and ruck time. The result is improved foot/surface, body/surface and ball/surface interaction. Underneath the artificial grass surface the shock pad is designed to take the hardness out of impact situations, yet firm enough to run on at speed.
All in all, there are a total of 900 million fibres on the pitch itself while the total weight of the artificial grass used at Munster Rugby comes in at around 17 tons. The installation saw a total of 500 tons of infill being used.
Pitch Build Up
World Rugby Approval
Pictured above: Munster Rugby vs Exeter Chiefs on Friday August 24th, 2018 at Irish Independent Park
Once installation was complete, officials from World Rugby performed over 100 rigorous tests on the surface to ensure that all of their high standards & strict criterion were met.
World Rugby’s testing procedure was extremely strict and focused on vital criteria that are an integral part of the game of rugby such as ball bounce, ball rebound and rotational resistance in the stud, all key components of both player performance and game quality.
And one of the most pleasing aspects of the World Rugby test procedure was the hugely important Head Injury Criterion (HIC) – this criterion is the hardest test to achieve and measures the height that it is safe for a player to land head first from – 1.3m is the accepted standard in terms of impact but this PST Sport pitch reached a height of 1.6m.
The cold hard statistics and test results from World Rugby demonstrate the high levels of care and attention that we put into every fibre of every pitch and highlights the depth of expertise and craftmanship that we input to each of our artificial surfaces.
Pictured below: various stages of pitch construction