Work starts on Artificial Grass Pitch

Date: 12 September 2016

Grasshoppers gets state-of-the-art Artificial Grass Pitch

Preston Grasshoppers RFC is set to benefit from a Rugby Football Union (RFU) £50 million national initiative which aims to grow participation in rugby.

In December 2015, the RFU announced it will invest in 100 new artificial grass pitches (AGP), over a four-year period, with Grasshoppers being one of the first clubs in England to have a new artificial pitch.

Work has already started on preparing the ground for the new floodlit artificial pitch at Grasshoppers’ Lightfoot Lane home, with the aim of it being ready to be played on at the end of the year.

Steve Grainger, RFU rugby development director said: “Over the past four years, RFU data shows that wetter winters are having a serious impact on the rugby season, resulting in more games and training sessions being cancelled. In February 2014, 1,766 adult games were lost over two weekends due to bad weather and over 600 natural turf pitches were unplayable for three weeks as a result.

“Each new artificial grass pitch built will enable between 1,500 and 2,000 additional hours of rugby within the respective local communities each year, giving 58,000 new players the opportunity to play rugby each year while ensuring poor weather will no longer compromise play.

“It’s encouraging to see that the last year’s Rugby World Cup has raised interest levels in rugby across the country and so we’re excited to be developing our community rugby facilities to manage this growing demand.”

Hoppers Youth Internationals Kieran Wilkinson and Sam Dugdale lend a helping hand

Hoppers Youth Internationals Kieran Wilkinson and Sam Dugdale lend a helping hand

Richard Ellis, general manager at Preston Grasshoppers, commented on the RFU’s investment. He said: “Grasshoppers is one of the oldest clubs in the country and has produced players that have gone on to secure international honours and win world cups.

“The investment from the RFU is tremendous for us and the local community as it provides a significant sporting facility. This is a major event in the club’s history and one that will hopefully encourage more people to get involved in rugby and experience Hoppers’ welcoming environment.

“In addition to increasing participation in the game it will also mean that match cancellations will significantly reduce, which in turn helps us to welcome more spectators to Hoppers and boosting our income. This will then get re-invested in the club contributing to our aspirations of playing in a higher league.”

For more information regarding the RFU’s plans for 100 new artificial pitches, visit


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