Hallowed turf from pitch where rugby was born goes up for sale - The Rugby Observer

Hallowed turf from pitch where rugby was born goes up for sale

Rugby Editorial 2nd Mar, 2022   0

HALLOWED turf from the field where the game of rugby was born is going on sale.

Rugby School is selling 20,000 square metres of turf from its famous pitch at The Close, giving the public a chance to buy a piece of history.

The Close is the site where William Webb Ellis is said to have invented the sport when he picked up the ball and ran in 1823, and is still used for home matches today.

Rugby School Head Groundsman James Mead on The Close with the Webb Ellis Cup.

Although the field’s turf is in pristine condition, underground work needs to be done – including the installation of new drainage and sprinkler systems – to combat increasing weather extremes in the UK.




The work, which the school says is being done at ‘significant investment’, will future-proof and protect the site to ensure it can be safely used for matches and enjoyed by visitors for years to come.

The work, which was due to be carried out last year but was postponed due to the pandemic, has now become urgent in order for it to be finished ahead of next year’s bicentenary of the game – when the school’s celebrations will feature national and international matches.


Head Groundsman James Mead and his team have spent countless hours caring for The Close to ensure the turf has stayed in the best condition possible.

He said: “In the 18 years I have looked after this historic ground, we have never had a match abandoned, but that will not be the case if we don’t invest in it now.

“We have taken great care to ensure the visual impact of site will remain, but below ground new drainage and sand layers will add stability and ensure we can maintain the quality of the turf whatever the weather or the fixture.

“With regard to selling the existing turf, we had the option of digging it in or giving people the chance to buy it.”

The organic turf, which has been cared for without the use pesticides, is now on sale in rolls of one square metre via the Rugby School online shop. Turf is also being incorporated into paperweights which can be pre-ordered via the shop.

Visit www.rugbyschool.news/rugbyturf for more information.

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