Rugby Union: Davies adds to pitch concerns

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THE WHOLE of Wales jumped in indignant unison on Saturday evening when England muttered about the state of the Millennium Stadium pitch,

However Mefin Davies, the Wales hooker, sympathised with the English last night, admitting: "Yes, the pitch was poor and it's not the first time. Exactly the same thing happened a few years ago against Scotland, but then it didn't get that much publicity. This time around the English will probably make a fuss of it."

Andy Robinson's team have not as yet, although they could easily have been forgiven for doing so after the scrums visibly began moving on the "floating" pallets of grass and the huge divots that appeared in the very first minute played havoc with the players' footing.

"We know that a concert had been staged there two weeks ago, but regardless of that it unfortunately remains true that it's a great `spectacle' stadium, but not the best playing surface," Davies said.

The "Welsh Live Aid" on 22 January saw more than 60,000 people watch an eight-hour festival in aid of the Tsunami Relief Appeal. The pitch was then relaid just 10 days before the Six Nations opener.

"Week in, week out we play on great pitches then suddenly you come here and can't sidestep because you lose your footing and then in the scrums the field actually moves. If nothing else it's dangerous," Davies said.

Stadium staff have been working around the clock to get the pitch ready for Wales' football friendly with Hungary on Wednesday. "I feel sorry for them," Davies said.