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Scotland ace Alasdair Dickinson: Plastic not fantastic for the big Tests

By Andy Newport

Scotland prop Alasdair Dickinson does not believe the grass will be greener for international rugby if more Tests are played on artificial surfaces. The Dark Blues will face Tonga at Kilmarnock FC's Rugby Park on Saturday in the first ever full international to be played on a plastic pitch.

Dickinson has no problem using the £500,000 3G turf on a one-off basis but the Edinburgh forward does not think it should be rolled out permanently.

The 31-year-old said: "It's going to be pretty quick so I hope I don't get caught one-on-one with a winger.

"I've only played down at Cardiff on their artificial pitch and it was fine. I've been down at Kilmarnock to look at their pitch and it looks awesome. It will be great.

"Does this sort of thing have a future at international level? Well if you had asked me that last year when the Murrayfield pitch was in the state it was, I'd have said yes.

"But now it is immaculate I don't see why we should have to go to synthetic pitches.

"It all depends on the money and clubs but I would still prefer to see big Tests played on grass."

Scotland will be hoping to round off their year with another impressive display after beating Argentina 41-31 at Murrayfield two weeks ago before returning to the capital to run New Zealand close, the All Blacks snatching a 24-16 win.

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