Scarlets boss Wayne Pivac expresses Arms Park injury fears

Wayne Pivac watches his players in action
Wayne Pivac has been in charge of Scarlets since 2014
Pro14: Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park Date: Sunday, 31 December Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on Scrum V on BBC Two Wales, online and the BBC Sport app, plus updates on BBC Radio Wales

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac says fear of injuries on Cardiff Blues' artificial playing surface will affect his selection for their Pro14 match there.

He says Scarlets have "had a lot of serious injuries which have resulted in surgeries," suffered at the Arms Park.

"Some players that have ongoing issues, we wouldn't want to play them on that surface for medical reasons," he said.

Blues coach Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Wales it is "nigh on impossible to blame the pitch for injuries."

Cardiff Blues installed the artificial surface in 2013.

Scarlets' first festive derby is at Parc y Scarlets on Boxing Day against Ospreys but Pivac says his selection over the festive period will be factoring in which players to select at Cardiff Arms Park.

"We factor that in when we go to the Blues, there are some players we wouldn't put on that surface," said Pivac.

"My personal experience on some of those (artificial) surfaces, some are better than others in terms of what lies underneath it."

Blues installed the surface to overcome the mud-bath reputation of the grass surface that used to be there.

Wilson says Blues have suffered no more injuries on the artificial surface than they would have on grass.

"First of all it meets governing body requirements," he said.

"Secondly, from our studies on the pitch, we've had as many injuries on grass as we have on that pitch.

"Also if you look, Glasgow play on it [an artificial pitch], Saracens, Newcastle, us, the Dragons regularly train on it, lots of teams do and more will.

"If they [Scarlets] have had issues individual issues on that pitch that's for them to say, but us personally? We don't have any problem with it."

However, ex-Wales international Nicky Robinson, part of the Blues coaching staff, says the playing surface can be an issue for older players.

"I know players have had problems on the pitch, we as a team have to be careful how much we train on the pitch - it can affect the players especially a few of the older players," he told Post Cyntaf on Radio Cymru.

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