Huddersfield YMCA are ready to break new ground by playing a rugby union fixture on an artificial pitch for the first time.
Laund Hill officials have this week received conformation that Saturday’s National III North clash at Burnage will be played on plastic.
It will be the first time their Manchester-based hosts will also have played a competitive game on the recently-installed surface, which means the Burnage players’ advantage will not be that significant.
And YMCA football manager Damon Scholes admits he’ll be interested to see how the contest unfolds, with the possibility of his own club following the Burnage example not being ruled out at this stage.
“This year we’ve been making a fair bit of history,” said Scholes.
“It’s obviously the first time Huddersfield YMCA have played at National III North level, while this weekend will also be the first time we’ve played a competitive fixture on an artificial pitch.
“Because Burnage have only just had the pitch installed, it’s going to be a new experience for them as well, so I think everyone’s going to take a very keen interest in the way things pan out.
“To be honest, if it looks good and plays well, I’m sure we’ll look into the possibility of doing something similar up at our Laund Hill ground.
“With the formation of the rugby league section last season, we’re now using the Laund Hill pitch 12 months of the year. So in terms if wear and tear, this could be something for us to look into quite seriously.”
And Scholes is also confident playing on a fast, artificial surface could prove to his side’s advantage.
“By all accounts, an artificial pitch is about 10% faster than a grass surface,” added Scholes.
“And with the speed we’ve got in our backline it could suit us right down to the ground.
“Our forwards have been doing a fantastic job giving our backs the possession to do some damage, so I know it could work more to our advantage than Burnage’s this weekend.
“When you’ve got someone like Titch (Ritchie Hawkyard) leading your backline, you know that the faster the surface, the more effective he’s going to be for the team.”