Belfast Telegraph

Glasgow stand their ground after Scarlets slam Scotstoun pitch


By Robert Jones

Glasgow Warriors say they are "entirely happy" with their pitch at Scotstoun following stinging criticism by Scarlets players.

Scarlets' Wales wing Steff Evans described the 4G surface as "shocking" following last Friday's Guinness PRO14 semi-final between the teams.

His team-mate Johnny McNicholl said the pitch should be "illegal," and Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said players had "got a lot of burns, a lot of bad grazing and blisters".

Pivac said that players could not train on Monday ahead of Saturday's Guinness PRO14 final against Leinster in Dublin, with some still sidelined yesterday.

"The main thing is to make the burns heal up," Pivac said.

"No one trained yesterday in terms of rugby work on the field, and there will be some who won't train today, which is unfortunate, but we will have a full training session on Thursday.

"It's things that won't stop them playing, but it's not ideal.

"I am not sure what other teams have had, we have got a lot of burns, a lot of bad grazing and blisters.

"The surface was very firm. It is what it is, you have got to play on them and you have got to accept it - but I am not a fan."

A Warriors spokesperson said: "Glasgow Warriors are entirely happy with the Scotstoun Stadium pitch, which was only installed in 2016 and is fully compliant with World Rugby's performance specification."

Scarlets won the game 28-13, and Evans criticised the pitch, stating: "These (wounds) are going to be stuck with me for a while. It is a tough field that 4G.

"It was really dry. The weather didn't help, it was like playing on carpet, it was shocking."

And McNicholl added: "It is good when you are running, but as soon as you hit the deck it affects your joints as well.

"I remember going down on the deck for the ball and got this massive grass burn on my backside. It was like a carpet burn. I said to the trainer after that I felt this pitch should be illegal."

Scarlets' Scotland captain John Barclay, meanwhile, is a doubt for next season's autumn Tests after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during the game.

Barclay, who will join Edinburgh, has undergone surgery.

In a statement, the Scarlets said: "With the Scottish Rugby Union and Edinburgh Rugby, we have made arrangements for John to begin his recovery and rehabilitation in Edinburgh."

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