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Scotland to play Tonga on artificial pitch

August 8, 2014

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland will become the first top-tier rugby nation to host a match on an artificial pitch when it takes on Tonga during the autumn tests in November.

Bernard Lapasset, chairman of the International Rugby Board, says it is an “exciting development” and backs the decision as “it can provide a consistent and low-maintenance alternative to natural pitches.”

In a statement released by Scotland on Friday, Lapasset says playing internationals on artificial pitches will be “useful in parts of the world where growing and maintaining a high-quality grass surface is not straightforward.”

The match will be played at Rugby Park, the home of Kilmarnock football club, on Nov. 22.

The Scottish Rugby Union says the surface has passed IRB compliance and safety tests.

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