The NSW Waratahs have sought urgent assurances that a patchy and shoddy Brookvale Oval playing surface will be fixed this week after expressing “fears” of a long-term player injury.
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal Manly Sea Eagles and Sydney FC have commissioned a report through playing surface experts, Labosport, to determine whether the ground is safe for elite sportsmen.
The NSW Waratahs will start their Super Rugby season with a big game against Wellington Hurricanes at Brookvale this Saturday night. Manly play a trial against Cronulla at Lottoland on Saturday week while Sydney FC confront Melbourne City at Brookvale in an A-League match on March 17.
All three rival sports are nervous playing on the ground’s second-rate playing surface. They quietly admit there is some chance they could shift matches.
Cronulla officials have also privately expressed their worries about the trial match at Brookvale. That game could be moved if the ground surface is severely chewed up by the Waratahs-Hurricanes games.
NSW Waratahs chief executive, Andrew Hore, was expecting a report about Brookvale Oval from Northern Beaches Council – who manage the ground – on Monday morning.
“We went there (to the ground) and checked it over on Friday and we acknowledge there are patches and we have raised that with council. We have asked for council’s plans for this week,” Hore told The Daily telegraph
“We want to know what their regime is going to be with those patches. We are pretty excited about going back and playing there but we need to make sure that everything is done in accordance to ensure we get a quality surface.
“We just want to make sure things are happening this week, things they said they would do.
“Most ACL’s don’t happen in scrums, they happen in general play, like in rugby league. I think that’s the greatest fear. That’s why football and rugby league would share the same concerns I’d suggest.
“When we played here last year it was perfectly fine; the pre-season game the year before not so good.”
The Daily Telegraph walked the Brookvale Oval playing surface on Sunday and it was terrible. There were patches scattered across a ground, especially under the goal posts at each end. The ground surface was no better than a suburban park footy ground. Manly has been told the ground was used over summer for park soccer.
Sydney FC is understood to have sent officials to inspect the playing surface – and they too expressed doubts.
“We had tests done on the ground last week and we are just waiting on the results. I know Sydney FC have had a test done as well because they have a game coming up. Both clubs are trying to protect our own interests,” said Manly chief executive, Lyall Gorman.
“We got an independent expert – Labo Sports – to come in. They are world renowned. That’s what they do, that’s their business.
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