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IRB World Rugby Conference will tackle artificial turf

The inaugural IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition (IRBWRCE) will take place in Dublin 17-20 November, with artificial turf featuring heavily in the exhibition of leading suppliers and partners to the international rugby industry. With the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO) an Official Supporter of the event, and with four of the 32 exhibitors being artificial turf providers, rugby is a sport offering new opportunities to the industry. PanStadia & Arena Management is an Official Media Partner of the IRBWRCE and will have distribution of its magazine on site offering attendees a unique subscription offer.

In January, English team Saracens became the first professional rugby club to host a match on an artificial surface in an LV Cup clash against Welsh team Cardiff Blues at Allianz Park. Eight months later, Saracens’ opponents in that opening fixture followed suit by making their debut on their own newly-installed artificial pitch at Cardiff Arms Park. 2013 has marked a transitional year for artificial pitches in rugby.

Nigel Fletcher, the Executive Chairman of ESTO, commented:

The durability and performance of synthetic turf in rugby is an important development in growing the sport globally. The quality of the surface can be guaranteed all year round with good maintenance and ensures player performance whether at community or professional level.

Over the last four years the IRB has been heavily involved in redefining the use of artificial turf within Rugby Union, and boost global participation in the game. In September 2012, the IRB held the first ‘One Turf’ conference inviting multiple sports federations to discuss a new multi-sport approach to artificial turf worldwide, with the primary aim of making sport more accessible, regardless of the extreme or temperamental weather conditions in countries across the globe. The sports represented were hockey (FIH), association football (FIFA), gaelic sports (GAA), rugby league (RFL), Australian rules football (AFL) and American football (NFL).

IRB’s Technical Services Coordinator, Leanne Walsh, said:

We are trying to get as many international federations and sports involved as possible to develop an artificial turf system that is suitable for needs at grassroots levels of all the sports involved. The idea behind it is that both local and national government are far more likely to invest in a community facility if it can provide a service for multiple sports. In terms of the training and community levels of the sports, the requirements are very similar although there are some technical requirements that vary.

PanStadia & Arena Management ( are media partners both of the inaugural IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition, as well as of ESTO and its members. The magazine will be distributed at the event, with Publication Director Katie McIntyre in attendance, with delegates to receive specially-reduced print subscription rates and complimentary membership of PSAM’s weekly digest.

To register to attend, or for further information about the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition visit the website at: or call Rob Strachan on Tel: +44 (0)207 036 8087.