Cardiff Blues have returned to training at the iconic Arms Park following the successful installation of a new artificial surface.
The famous stadium played a supporting role to the Dragon’s Heart Hospital during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic but sustained significant damage to the pitch.
It was agreed a new surface was required and work began at the end of 2020 with Tony Patterson Sportsgrounds, who installed the original 3G pitch, awarded the contract once again.
Work to install the new state-of-the-art FieldTurf UK RGF dual fibre system has now been completed and the pitch has passed World Rugby Regulation 22 performance testing, to allow training at the ground to resume.
Jamie Muir, Cardiff Blues stadium manager said: “We were very proud to play a small part in supporting the Dragon’s Heart Hospital and the fight against Covid-19 in our community and remain enormously grateful to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
“It was a privilege to work alongside them and their support throughout the reinstatement of our artificial surface has been great.
“SportsLabs and Tony Patterson’s Sportsgrounds have done a brilliant job in difficult conditions and have delivered a top quality surface, which has passed all World Rugby tests and is now fully certified.
“The first team squad are already back training at the Arms Park and we cannot wait to welcome crowds back to enjoy top class rugby at our iconic home and to continue as a community hub.”
The iconic Arms Park became part of the neighbouring Dragon’s Heart Hospital at the Principality Stadium in March, to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board decommissioned the field hospital last year and have now built a surge inpatient facility on site at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
They remain enormously grateful to Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff Blues for their continued support during the global pandemic and are please the Arms Park has now been returned to its previous condition.
A spokesperson from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “Cardiff Blues remained instrumental in ensuring the communities of Cardiff and the Vale were kept safe during this unprecedented time.
"Cardiff and Vale University Health Board extends a heartfelt thank you to Cardiff Blues for the fantastic support they have given to the NHS and the communities of Wales through the use of the Arms Park in a time of need.”
The Arms Park is now set to host Cardiff Blues when the Guinness PRO14 resumes next month, fixtures had previously been staged at Rodney Parade and the Cardiff City Stadium.
A spokesperson from Tony Patterson Sportsgrounds added: "Tony Patterson Sportsgrounds have been delighted to be involved in the refurbishment of the Cardiff Arms Park's new World Rugby pitch surface.
"Cardiff Blues put their confidence in us, and I think we can safely say everyone is delighted with the quality of the finished pitch surface.
"Under challenging conditions given the time of year for installation, we are very proud to get Cardiff Blues back into their home ground on schedule.
"We wish Cardiff Blues every success on their new playing surface."