Rugby Union 1 year ago

Rebels, ARU threaten to move AAMI match

  • Rebels, ARU threaten to move AAMI match

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Scott Fardy of the Wallabies kicks the playing surface after it was ripped up in a scrum in the first half and the players had to move to rehold the scrum during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at AAMI Park on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Rebels and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) are threatening to move the next Super Rugby fixture at AAMI Park unless the surface is fixed.

They will also insist the Melbourne Olympic Park Trust, who control the ground, pay for an alternative venue in Melbourne for the July 2 clash against the Stormers if the condition of AAMI Park is not improved by Saturday.

"The immediate issue is the safety and welfare around playing on that surface in ten days time, based on what was evident on Saturday night," ARU general manager Rob Clarke told News Corp Australia.

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"We just simply cannot compromise the safety of our players who could suffer a career-ending injury based on what was evidenced on Saturday night."

The turf was repeatedly torn up at the ground during scrums in Australia's 23-7 loss to England on Saturday night, with dangerous sandy holes also regularly exposed.

In a positive sign, 40 per cent of the turf was reportedly replaced at the ground before the match, and those areas held up well.

Etihad Stadium is AFL-free on July 2 if the match is required to be moved.

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