Rugby

Pitch For Ireland's Final World Cup Pool Stage Game Looks Far From Ideal

Pitch For Ireland's Final World Cup Pool Stage Game Looks Far From Ideal

Scroll through the Sportsfile photos from the captain's run ahead of Ireland's final World Cup pool stage game against Samoa and you'll see some bemused players and backroom team members.

The reason: the pitch at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium.

Fukuoka has hosted two games so far in the tournament: Italy vs Canada on September 26th and France vs USA on October 2nd. Following the latter game, one in which the pitch cut up badly, it was relaid.

BBC Northern Ireland this morning tweeted some footage of Chris Farrell having some fun with that new surface.

Ireland require a bonus point win against Samoa to definitely secure a place in the quarter-finals. Anything less and Ireland's fate will rest with the result of the game between Japan and Scotland.

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There's no doubt that the condition of the pitch will be a real concern for Joe Schmidt, his coaches and the players.

World Rugby has issued a statement regarding the pitch.

"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 took 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 primary driver was player welfare.

"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 confident that the pitch will perform superbly."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: Stephen Ferris Highlights Worrying Stat About Ireland's Gameplan

 

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