Allianz Park

Richard Wigglesworth says Saracens have started training on their new all weather pitch.

We had our first training session at our new Allianz Park home on Tuesday and it was good to finally get out there and sample the much-talked-about pitch at first hand.

I had played on a 3G surface before and this is another big step up and it felt a lot softer.

We didn't do any contact on it this week, so I can't vouch for whether you slide on it very far or whether you might pick up the odd burn, but we were all certainly very impressed with it.

It was good under foot and I think the games that are going to be played on here are going to be quick and fast-paced.

The bounce was good and there was not as much roll on the ball as I expected. It was nice and true.

There is still some work that needs doing to the ground off the pitch, as you would imagine at this stage. And that includes the seating which will be bigger and more comfortable than most grounds and will enable supporters to order food and drink from the comfort of those chairs!

As you will know by now, Saracens are not shy of an away trip but I think Allianz Park will be a great venue for us and will just continue to get better and better over the years and it grows, settles in and becomes what everyone hopes will be a focal point for the local sporting community.

That's another good thing about the artificial pitch in that the place will be used up to six days a week by clubs in the vacinity. Because of its nature, there is no danger in the pitch getting worn and boggy, like a grass one may do at this time of year.

That gives them a chance to make use of a cracking new facility and us the chance for the community to feel a sense of belonging.

I get the feeling there are other clubs watching to see how we get on here. Wales have already expressed an interest is giving the Millennium Stadium the same sort of surface so we will see if any other clubs - or countries for that matter - follow on from Allianz Park.

In the mean time, we play Sale this weekend after winning a close one agianst Northampton last weekend.

Stephen Myler's last-minute kick to win it for them hit the crossbar and bounced backwards.

It was a great strike from over 50 metres away. I had stayed up near the ball to make sure he didn't move the ball any further forward than he should have and, when he hit it, both him and me thought it was over.

Thankfully for us, it just dipped in the last 10 metres and thumped against the bar.


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