Newcastle Falcons vs Leeds Carnegie postponed

The Aviva Premiership Rugby match between Newcastle Falcons and Leeds Carnegie
has been postponed. The match was orginally scheduled to be played on Boxing
Day but was re-scheduled for today.

Despite round the clock efforts from both the Newcastle Falcons staff and Sports
and Stadia Services, including the provision of hot air blowers on the pitch
since 23rd December, match referee Wayne Barnes, who had flown into Newcastle
last night, inspected the pitch this morning and found the surface to be unplayable.

Large areas of the pitch were playable and it had been agreed to both narrow
and shorten the pitch, within regulations, to allow the match to go ahead.

However, weather conditions in Newcastle meant the pitch had started to re-freeze.

Premiership Rugby’s Rugby Director, Phil Winstanley, paid tribute to
the efforts of the club today.

“Player welfare is always our primary concern and despite the best efforts
of the club and our contractors, the pitch was frozen in certain areas and the
referee felt it was dangerous.

“Given that and despite the best efforts of all concerned, our only option
was to postpone the match.

“I would like to recognise the huge effort made by Newcastle Falcons to try
and get this match played.”

“From Chairman Dave Thompson down, everybody has invested significant
time and resource over Christmas to try and put the match on and we are very
disappointed to have to postpone.

“However the safety of players, match officials and spectators is always
paramount and the advice was clear in this regard”.

A new date for the match will be announced in due course.

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