World Rugby accepts lower pile height

World Rugby has announced that it now also accepts synthetic turf carpets with 50mm pile height for testing to be officially approved as a rugby surface. A 50mm pile-height is particularly popular for synthetic turf used in multisport and community venues. According to the governing body, by accepting 50mm carpets, it will be easier for World Rugby member unions to grow the game as the 60mm pile height was perceived as a barrier.

Systems based on 50mm carpet need to satisfy the following additional requirements:

Pile height Minimum pile weight Minimum quantity of sand Splash level
50-54mm Min. 1,350gr/m2 Not less than 10mm Less than 3.5%
55-59mm Min. 1,450gr/m2 Not less than 10mm Less than 3.5%
60mm No requirement No requirement Less than 6%


While carpets with 50mm pile-height can now be submitted for testing, World Rugby still strongly recommends that fields use a 60mm carpet, as these have a proven track record for providing excellent surfaces for rugby. “Consideration of carpets with pile heights between 50mm and 60mm should be restricted to multi-sport, community-based fields that wish to offer rugby as an additional or optional sport,” the rugby governing body states.