Dave Balmer, Stadium Manager at Gloucester Rugby believes that the rapid establishment of Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed ensured that the pitch was in perfect condition to host a number of 2015 Rugby World Cup fixtures.
Dave will have been working at Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, for twenty years in February next year and has witnessed the meteoric rise of the game in the UK. When he first started, back in 1996, there were only three members of staff at Kingsholm, which included himself, a commercial manager and one lady looking after the ticket office. Fast forward a few years and Dave’s pitch would be watched by millions worldwide with the sport’s greatest players plying their trade.
2015 marked a famous chapter in the history of Gloucester Rugby as Kingsholm was selected to host four prestigious pool stage games in the Rugby World Cup as well as a warm up game between Tonga and the USA. Kingsholm Stadium was transformed for the tournament and became a sea of colour, excitement and noise, but in the midst of such electrifying atmosphere Dave was hard at work ensuring that the pitch was fit for purpose.
It certainly was no easy task either – after the warm up game on 5 September, Kingsholm saw Tonga vs Georgia on 19 September, Japan vs Scotland on 23 September, Argentina vs Georgia just two days later on 25 September and finally Japan vs USA on October 11.
Dave, alongside his brother Graham and eight other team members pulled together to ensure the smooth running of the fixtures and he couldn’t have been happier with the results.
“I was very happy with the way the pitch performed throughout the World Cup, considering we were quite late getting on the pitch with the end of season renovations because we had a couple of concerts here. We had Madness perform on 31 May which was followed by Elton John on 10 June, so we couldn’t start our renovations until after that.”
Fortunately, Dave used Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed, which is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface in a stadium environment. With the added benefit of being treated with Headstart® GOLD, a biological germination accelerator, MM60 delivers stronger more resilient seedling grass, giving your turf the best possible start.
“The MM60 establishes incredibly fast – we seeded the pitch on 12 June and we were mowing it on 24 June. It was great to get it established in that short amount of time. Even when seeding with it in the winter you normally see germination within seven to ten days. I can’t fault it at all – it mows well and it’s rigorous too.”
Dave first started working with Limagrain fifteen years ago and he hasn’t looked back since.
“We were originally using another product but we started using MM60 and we’ve stuck with it ever since because it is so good. I like the fact that I can have open discussions with Matt Gresty from Limagrain about the health and management of the turf and he is always quick to offer sound advice.
“I would not hesitate to recommend Limagrain. As the old cliché goes – it does exactly what it says on the tin.”
For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.limagrain.co.uk. You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed