Oyonnax to play on synthetic turf

Date published: June 17 2015

Oyonnax will become the first club in the Top 14 to play their home games on synthetic turf after problems with their pitch.

The surprise package of last year's Top 14, Oyonnax reached the play-offs for the first time in their history, but the harsh weather in the east of France caused a lot of problems with the pitch at the Stade Charles Mathon.

As a result, they have taken the step to install a synthetic pitch from next season, following in the footsteps of the likes of Saracens, Cardiff Blues and Newcastle.

A statement from the club read: "Following a season where USO Rugby were in difficulties with the pitch at the Stade Charles Mathon, the club from the Plastic Valley has decided to continue its history on synthetic turf.

"During the off-season, the pitch will be refurbished so that it can accommodate Top 14 and Champions Cup games in optimal conditions, whatever the weather constraints."

The club will follow the latest guidelines from World Rugby on the use of synthetic pitches, using polyethylene fibre with the refurbishment being carried out by local companies.