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World Rugby issues statement over state of pitch for Ireland v Samoa

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

08:57 11 Oct 2019

World Rugby has issued a statement in relation to the pitch in Fukuoka where Ireland will play their final Pool A game with Samoa on Saturday.

There has been much discussion over the standard of the playing surface and Irish head coach Joe Schmidt didn't seem too impressed as the team carried out their Captain's Run on Friday morning.

Keith Earls went as far as to say “it doesn’t look great, to be honest with you,” however the Limerick winger went on to say;

“But actually, out there, it’s flat and it’s quite firm and it doesn’t feel too bad to run on and, it’s been inspected and deemed playable and that’s how it felt out there today and, I’d suppose it’s going to be the same for both teams.”

World Rugby says they're confident in the pitch's integrity and feel it’s in line with Rugby World Cup standards.

The statement in full reads:

"We are confident in the integrity of the new Fukuoka pitch for Ireland v Samoa.

"With stability and performance, the key considerations, World Rugby and JR 2019 too the decision to re-turf the playing surface following significant wear caused by the France versus USA match after heavy rainfall as a consequence of Typhoon 17.

"The tournament has dedicated nurseries where back-up turf is meticulously prepared in line with Rugby World Cup standards.

"While the look of the turf may not be perfect, as would be expected with a very recent installation, we are confident that the pitch will perform superbly."

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