Premiership rugby union club Gloucester has invested £1m ($2m/€1.7m) to fund a new hybrid pitch for the 2018-19 season at Kingsholm Stadium.
The club confirmed the natural and artificial grass blend pitch after months of deliberation on which option Gloucester would take.
There has been extensive research into all surfaces that are currently used across professional sport, including hybrid and fully artificial alternatives.
Chief executive Stephen Vaughan confirmed that work will commence at the end of the current season to install a state of the art ‘Hero’ hybrid surface in conjunction with County Turf of Lincolnshire.
The Hero Hybrid Grass product was chosen following feedback from players, strength and conditioning staff and medical staff, as well as other performance staff.
County Turf have also worked with the likes of Eden Park and Croke Park, and recently installed three training pitches for Spanish LaLiga club Real Madrid’s first team.
Vaughan said: “The best commercial option would have been to opt for an all-weather surface but we have opted for the preferred choice of the playing squad. We will still, however, be in a position to use our new pitch more for our community work, for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s team and other club activity.
“This is a very significant project for the club and it’s been very important that we’ve done our due diligence. I spoke with numerous clubs and their staff and we are delighted to be announcing that we will be installing a hybrid playing surface at Kingsholm.”