Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

GRASS IS GREENER ON WOODEND OVAL; Field Upgrade Paves the Way for Ipswich Rangers

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

GRASS IS GREENER ON WOODEND OVAL; Field Upgrade Paves the Way for Ipswich Rangers

Article excerpt

BEN

WILMOTT

ben.wilmott@qt.com.au

THE dust bowl is no more at the Ipswich Rangers new-look home ground.

The rugby union fields at Woodend Park have been infamous for their unforgiving surfaces which has tested the muscles of many an Ipswich player.

That legacy is quickly being replaced by a greener and softer-looking one thanks to the unveiling of a new underground irrigation system which will service the two fields.

Years in the making, the river-fed system already is making a difference for Ipswich Rangers president Jason Dutton.

Finally given the green light thanks to grants secured through local and state government, Dutton said the club was delighted to see their dreams come to life.

"It's been four years in progress," Dutton said. "It's great to see it all come to fruition.

"The support from council and state government has all come together to make this happen. We are always grateful for the support we receive."

Soon the Rangers players will have a chance to see the upgrades for themselves, as pre-season training begins for the upcoming Queensland Suburban Rugby Union competitions.

Eager to see the players reactions, Dutton said staying injury-free should be an easier task for their senior sides next year.

"The guys are going to come along and the fields are going to be fantastic," he said. "They'll be well watered and green and not dry and dusty like they have previously from the pre-season workload."

Every year the Rangers aim to play their final game of the season at Ballymore Stadium where the grand final of the club competition is held.

The headquarters of Queensland Rugby Union, the grounds boast some of the most premier fields in the state. The Rangers might have a way to go to match Ballymore's lofty heights but their president is hopeful the Ipswich club will soon be the envy of their local rivals.

"History for Ipswich Rangers has been that it's generally dry and well worn by the end of the season," he said. "This time they are going to be at that high quality and in two years time this should be a highly competitive ground similar to Ballymore. …

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