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Players to benefit from improvements at Newark Rugby Club's Kelham Road ground

Kelham Road is to benefit from a new and upgraded playing surface as Newark Rugby Club plans for the sports return.

David Pick, facilities director at Newark Rugby Club, revealed the club had taken on two new projects ahead of the 2021 season, with plans to improve two pitches at Kelham Road.

“It has been over 12 months since we had any first team games at the club,” said Pick.

MASTER ploughman Christopher Rainworth at Kelham Road.
MASTER ploughman Christopher Rainworth at Kelham Road.

“We were able to have mini and youth training in between lockdowns, when we had hundreds of children down, but there was still no adult rugby.

“It isn’t looking likely to have the adult game back any time soon so we made the decision to do some significant pitch maintenance to the senior team pitches.

“The first project was to spray the second team pitch with weed killer and we then had help from a master ploughman, Christopher Rainworth, who has used one of his match ploughs to turnover the top six inches of the soil.”

Pick explained some of the areas of the pitch — to the left of Kelham Road’s clubhouse — were susceptible to flooding, and he planned to level the field with the help of Mr Rainworth.

“He will spend the next couple of weeks getting it ready before we seed it, and then hopefully we will have a top playing surface,” he said.

“It will be for the benefit of the adult rugby section mainly, but the mini and youth teams do often use it to train at night.

“It will be a significant benefit to the senior youth (under-14s to under-18s) as well.”

Pick explained the second project included further ground work on the club’s first team pitch.

“We are hoping that by the time we get to June or July we will have two pitches that will be ready for the senior and senior youth sides from under-13s upwards.”

The RFU has outlined five steps to its roadmap before the game can return without in full and without restrictions.

From March 28, contact training, excluding scrums and mauls, can take place. Touch and tag rugby matches against other clubs can also go ahead.

From April 26, adult and age group matches, without scrums and mauls, can take place.

Full contact training and fixtures are to follow.

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