South East Wales

Welsh Rugby Union tests Pontypridd 3G pitch after burns

Player's burns Image copyright Lee Jarvis
Image caption Burns suffered by a Merthyr RFC player in Sunday's match

An artificial pitch is at the centre of a Welsh Rugby Union investigation after seven players said they suffered friction burns in a game.

Merthyr RFC players showed signs of injury after their Welsh Cup semi-final defeat to RGC 1404 at Pontypridd RFC's 3G pitch at Sardis Road on Saturday.

The WRU, the pitch contractors, Rhondda Cynon Taf council and Pontypridd RFC officials have now inspected the pitch.

"Further testing will be conducted" and the WRU will inspect again next week.

"We know that 3G pitches are an established, proven and successful playing surface widely utilised by rugby union," said the WRU statement.

"We are therefore hopeful that a solution can be found to the well-publicised recent issue at the venue."

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Media captionMerthyr rugby player Teri Gee suffered 3G pitch burns

Merthyr's club doctor has called on the game's governing body to conduct more research on artificial pitches.

A spokesman for Pontypridd RFC said the club had no comment to make.

Before Pontypridd's £500,000 3G pitch was first used last September, the club's website described it as a "synthetic carpet" with "sand and rubber crumb" in it.

Merthyr, who host Pontypridd in the Welsh Premiership this Saturday, also play on an artificial pitch at their The Wern ground.

Sardis Road is due to hold an international under-18s tournament next month and the WRU and World Rugby have reiterated the importance of player welfare.

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