1. ITV Report

Work begins on the Millennium Stadium's new Desso hybrid pitch

After years of collapsing scrums and kickers losing their footing, it seems a solution to the long-running problem of the Millennium Stadium pitch could finally be at hand.

A new hybrid surface is being installed at the ground, to replace the old system of removable turf pallets.

Will this move finally spell an end to gripes about the grass?

Mike Griffiths reports.

The old turf came in for some criticism over its durability.

Our old palletised pitch system, which was a series of pallets overlaid with soil, overlaid with a turf carpet if you like, was deemed not not suitable to stand up to the demands of modern rugby.

Bigger, stronger players, a lot more stress on the field, particularly in areas like the scrum... the pitch just wasn't holding up to those sorts of stresses.

– Mark Williams, Millennium Stadium manager

The makers claim the new pitch can withstand three times as much play as a traditional grass surface.

20 million artificial fibres will be injected into a mat of natural grass
The layer beneath will let water drain away easily
The roots of the grass are then woven with the artificial fibres at a depth of 20cm

It'll give us a consistently high performing surface on the pitch. No more worries, no more criticism both on aesthetics or playabilty.

The Rugby World Cup is coming up in 2015. Eight games over a period of a few weeks.

The old pitch would definitely not have held up to that kind of standards, but now we're able to have these world class competitions here at the stadium with no worries.

– Mark Williams
Tonnes of gravel will be spread over the pitch area to create one layer

The project is due to finish by the end of October.

The first games to be played on the new pitch will be the autumn internationals the following month.