First synthetic pitch in french Top 14 rugby competition
The Charles-Mathon Stadium, home stadium of the French Top 14 first division rugby club US Oyonnax, will install a synthetic pitch. This is the first synthetic pitch for a French professional club of this level in France. Therefore, US Oyonnax is a pioneer in choosing a synthetic turf system among the French Top 14 rugby teams.
Some prominent professional rugby teams in the UK already achieved amazing results by switching to a synthetic surface. Elite Rugby Club Cardiff Blues for example, decided to switch from natural grass to a synthetic turf system from FieldTurf with a ProPlay-Sport23 shock pad for the 2013-2014 season. Cardiff Blues Chief Executive Richard Holland said the new surface now allows games to go ahead no matter the weather. In 2014, the Cardiff Blues even hosted the final of the Amlin Cup in this pitch.
The previous natural pitch was unable to perform all year round and will therefore be removed. The new, artificial pitch delivers optimal playing conditions, safety and comfort for rugby on top level and will be ready at the end of this summer. Because the Oyonnax region can experience challenging weather conditions in the winter months, that’s when the main benefits will be seen. For US Oyonnax, this was one of the crucial element in the choice of a new pitch. But also the reduction of the stadium’s expenses in comparison to the maintenance costs of the natural grass field.
The Charles-Mathon stadium will welcome the important matches of the Top 14 and Champions Cup, but will also be the home of community school’s teams. The applied FieldTurf Vertex 65 synthetic turf system, with a ProPlay-Sport20 shock and drainage pad inside, is perfectly adapted for elite rugby as it has successfully undergone demanding tests under the criteria set by the International Rugby Board. In particular, the surface is characterized by soft and strong fibers with extraordinary resistance and durability, giving US Oyonnax the best long term solution and excellent conditions all year round.