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Scotland to test Kilmarnock pitch

Scotland are to play their autumn test against Tonga on Kilmarnock Football Club's new artificial pitch.

The Scottish Rugby Union announced that Rugby Park will host the November 22 clash, which follows Murrayfield contests against Argentina and New Zealand.

Kilmarnock installed the new surface this summer and it will stage its first competitive game when Aberdeen visit on Scottish Premiership duty on Wednesday night.

An SRU tweet read: "The international at Rugby Park will be a world-first! The first time a Tier 1 union has played an international on an artificial pitch!"

The pitch has passed International rugby Board safety and compliance tests.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter said: "The Rugby Park surface is immaculate and it's always good to take the game to parts of the country where supporters haven't always had the chance to see an international match on their own doorstep."

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset added: "This is an exciting development for rugby at the elite level as it is the first time a Tier One team has played a full international on artificial turf.

"In recent years, the quality of turf has come a long way. The IRB and its member unions, such as the SRU, have been at the forefront of that progress.

"The great advantage of artificial turf is that it can provide a consistent and low-maintenance alternative to natural pitches.

"This is especially useful in parts of the world where growing and maintaining a high-quality grass surface is not straightforward. I would like to congratulate the SRU for this initiative and I wish this fixture every success."


From Belfast Telegraph