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Plastic is fantastic - IRB chief

International Rugby Board chief executive Mike Miller insisted that Saracens' plans for a plastic pitch are "good for the game".

The Aviva Premiership club have announced they will play on artificial turf next season if proposals to refurbish and relocate to Barnet Copthall Stadium are approved. Saracens are to begin discussions with the London Borough of Barnet about the viability of developing the ground into a multi-purpose sports venue.

The IRB have been working with football's world governing body FIFA in the development of artificial pitches. Miller said: "We have been working for a number of years with FIFA to come to a standard for artificial surfaces around the world so you can play rugby and football on them."

He added: "Unfortunately here people have the image of QPR in the 1980s. It is a totally different thing now.

"It looks like a grass pitch now and it plays as well as a grass pitch, if not better. I think it is good for the game.

"There is an argument that the southern hemisphere play more attractive, attacking rugby because they can keep their footing and throw the ball around.

"Here (in Europe) you have the heavy pitches and so it makes it a bit harder to do that. Will it change that? Maybe. It will be interesting to see.

"There are no injury issues. We have done studies over the years and there are no differences in the injury rates or types of injuries.

"Scrummaging on them is fine. If you look at some of the grass pitches and the way they cut up, this is better than a lot of situations."

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