Woodbridge Rugby Club groundsman Bob Double was understandably nervous when he met Keith Kent, Head Groundsman, RFU Twickenham this morning on the Club’s first team pitch. Especially when he noticed a spade in his hand! Bob, Club Chairman Rob Simpson and Head Coach Drew Fautley were joined by Ross Stannard of RST Sportsturf, Robert Gibson and others from Otley College to meet Keith and Peter Shaw from the RFU with John Winders, Chairman of Eastern Counties Community Rugby. They were all keen to hear the opinions and comments from Keith who left school at 16 and joined Leicester City as a trainee groundsman and now uses 32 years of experience to looks after the world famous Twickenham Stadium boasting the best playing surface in World rugby.
When asked what he thought of Woodbridge’s pitches Keith replied “They’re fantastic! If you’ve not missed a game in the wettest season in history you must be happy with that.” he added “at Twickenham we work on grass being 33mm in length although for Club rugby I’d recommend 50mm”.
Woodbridge has three lovely flat pitches which Bob has tended for years. The Club now has an arrangement with Otley College to help maintain the fine playing surfaces, arguably the best in the region. So when Twickenham’s Head Groundsman dug into it, crumbled the soil in his hands and pronounced it in great shape both Bob and Tony Gibson were visibly relieved. Over tea Keith was full of advice for making the work easier and tips for even better performance but the tension was eased, The Master had spoken and Woodbridge Rugby Club could rest assured that, while it’s eighteen teams of men, women, boys and girls may win some and lose some, it’s pitches have professional blessing.