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Artificial pitch for Millenium Stadium

Wales could be set for an artificial pitch after chief executive Roger Lewis revealed that the move "is being given serious consideration".

The Cardiff pitch is notoriously tough to maintain because sunlight is blocked by the steep stands and it has to be relaid several times a year.

The venue is set to host six games during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the WRU believes a synthetic surface could be a practical alternative to grass.

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Chief executive Roger Lewis said: "We're giving serious consideration to all the options."

Since the Cardiff stadium opened in 1999 there have been problems with the surface.

The pitch, which had to be replaced in 2009 because of a fly infestation which causes damage to root growth, has received criticism from several quarters.

Wales utility back Leigh Halfpenny spoke out after they were beaten by New Zealand in 2009.

And footballers Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams were critical following Wales' Euro 2012 qualifying defeat to England in March 2011.

One sticking point may be that the surface would not be suitable for some of the events the stadium hosts, in particular music shows.

"They use some very serious trucks for their equipment. We'd need to be satisfied that the new surface can take it," Lewis added.

The surface has been approved by the International Rugby Board - Maidenhead became the first British club to use the 3G surface this season and Saracens will lay a 3G artificial surface at their new stadium in Barnet.


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