PST Sport were both honoured and proud to have installed a world-class synthetic turf pitch at Munster Rugby’s Irish Independent Park in Cork City.
Acting as their Cork base, Munster Rugby wanted to engage with a leading artificial pitch installer to provide a full-size synthetic turf surface as part of their long-term strategic vision for the development of rugby in both Cork city and the southern region of the province.
Munster Rugby had in recent years struggled with match fixtures being fulfilled at this venue, particularly in the winter months due inclement weather. The need for a durable, resilient and player friendly surface drove the club’s desire to develop a world-class artificial rugby pitch. Part of the knock-on effect of establishing such a highly professional facility was, of course, having the ability to not only play significantly more rugby games here at a higher level but to be able to host and attract more high-profile rugby competition fixtures to Cork City.
In doing so, Munster Rugby recognised that the newly installed surface would in turn bring major benefits to the local community, both in a sporting sense and economic capacity. Top class rugby would not only be played here but the surface would also be used to develop the sport from youth right through to international level.
The pitch re-development began in May 2018 and saw the existing grass pitch being replaced with a state-of-the-art 10,500 sq/m modified synthetic turf surface. PST Sport’s ‘Superb 60’ installed at Irish Independent Park is the very latest in synthetic turf technology; it is the first of its kind World Rugby Approved pitch. The surface is extremely durable, resilient, soft to touch, controls infill splash and ultimately designed with maximum player safety in mind. While the pitch surface is unique, below the turf is equally important and PST Sport have pioneered a new dynamic pitch sub-base and irrigation system ensuring maximum longevity and stability of the pitch.
Once complete, World Rugby officials performed more than 100 individual rigorous testing procedures on the surface to ensure that all of their strict criterion were fully met. This extremely strict process focused on vital aspects such as ball bounce, ball rebound and rotational resistance in the stud – all hugely important elements of both player performance, safety and of course game quality. Head Injury Criterion (HIC); the hardest World Rugby test to achieve is set at 1.3m – on testing the new Munster Rugby surface achieved a HIC of 1.6m.
In meeting the specific needs of Munster Rugby, the pitch can now be constantly utilised for both competitive games and training camps.
Phillip Quinn, Munster Rugby’s Head of Finance & Operations stated: “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 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.”
Colin Teahon, PST Sport’s Managing Director added: “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.”
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Pictured below: Irish Independent Park ahead of Ireland’s penultimate game of the 2019 U20s Six Nations campaign against France on Friday 8 March, 2019. The 2019 campaign was the first time the province hosted a Six Nations tournament at any level with our recently installed synthetic turf pitch being a significant factor in securing the fixtures.