Leeds Rhinos groundsman explains sandy pitch and why Super League club should be ‘applauded’ for having the event which caused it

ATTENDEES at Headingley yesterday as Leeds Rhinos took on Bradford Bulls will have noticed some of the ground being covered by sand.

Whilst this drew a number of critics, the West Yorkshire club has now revealed just why the sand was there following a big City of Culture celebration in early January.

Head groundsman Ryan Golding was on hand to explain.

“As people may or may not have seen, we had an event on January 7 for the Leeds Awakening. it involved a decent portion of the pitch being covered and a large stage being erected and dismantled,” groundsman Ryan Golding told the Leeds Rhinos website.

“As a club we should be applauded for having (the event), it was great for the city and club to have.

“From that we are having to repair at the moment and, the intricacies of the surface we have with it being fibresand, the option for recovery is narrowed and the rainfall from that time has had an effect so we are having to recover from that as well.

“In the lead up to the Hull FC game in our first home game of the season I’m highly confident that we will be in a much better place thanks to my team.”

Leeds assistant coach Chev Walker said that his players were fine with the surface and Golding reiterated that view.

“After gauging feedback form coaches and players, it’s absolutely fine. We’ve had to deal with situations like this over the past few years and before that.

“It played really well on the day. Aesthetically it doesn’t look the best but the sand is on there for a reason and that’s to create a firm and stable surface to play expansive rugby league on and to allow the best growing medium seed to germinate.”