Mako huddle during its 22-19 pre-season loss to Wellington in Renwick last week. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

Mako scrambling to find training fields

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The Tasman Mako haven’t had a full-sized pitch to train on in several weeks as Trafalgar Park is off limits for the All Blacks test and there are no other suitable grounds in Nelson.

Instead they have been training everywhere from Tahunanui and Stoke, all the way to the Rai Valley.

Tasman Rugby’s commercial manager Les Edwards says it’s not an ideal situation.

“This is the most professional team in the city but they don’t have a home to train on.”

The team has 22 Super Rugby players including six All Blacks.

Les says, long term, the team needs a full-sized professional pitch – this could be done on Trafalgar Park’s number two pitch if it was redeveloped.

“If it was astro turfed then rugby, soccer, everyone could use it.”

There are some grounds but soccer teams don’t allow the team to use it for their weekly training session as they say it will tear up the pitch.

Similar concerns have been raised over the quality of football grounds around the city.

Tahuna FC’s complained in April that its undersized training pitch on the Tahunanui fields was riddled with valves and man-hole covers while their playing field floods like a bowl.

Nelson city councillor and chair of the sport and recreation committee Tim Skinner says the issue is on “his radar” and he submitted to the council’s Long Term Plan on the issue. He says that a feasibility study is due back in November on the cost and location of a possible all weather pitch that could be used by the Mako and other codes.

“We want to look after the Mako but it’s important that other sports can use it as well.”

He says that he has paced out the area by the Trafalgar Park number 2 pitch to see if it is large enough but that remains to be seen. Tim says that it’s important to keep such a training pitch close to the CBD.

He says that council consulted with a turf specialist about the upcoming All Blacks test and the advice was that no one should train on it before the game.
He says that council consulted with a turf specialist about the upcoming All Blacks test and the advice was that no one should train on it before the game.