Legends Turf For Legendary Games

The grass is definitely greener on the Queensland side of the border and particularly at Suncorp Stadium now the new turf has been laid.

Sport Minister Phil Reeves said the green carpet has been rolled out in time for the upcoming Queensland Reds Super 15 semi-final against the Auckland Blues on 2 July, and Darren Lockyer's final State of Origin match on 6 July.

"Stadium management made the decision to replace the playing surface following the summer of disaster, and preparations began shortly after the Broncos v Dragons match on 17 June," Mr Reeves said.

"A rare window of opportunity presented itself, providing grounds staff with ample time to get the new turf ready for the Reds and Maroons.

"Auckland and the New South Wales Origin team should be wary. This is our secret weapon which will hopefully see the Reds score a place in the final, and our Queensland boys get over the line and secure their sixth straight series win.

"We want to make sure our teams have every possible advantage to send their opponents packing, green with envy.

"The new playing surface will hopefully help turf out Auckland and the cockroaches."

Mr Reeves said the summer of disaster certainly left its mark on Suncorp Stadium.

"I'm sure many Queenslanders remember seeing those images of the venue looking more like a pool than a footy stadium," he said.

"The field was monitored very closely, and the turf held up really well. However, managing the silt residue has been an issue and we found it necessary to lay down new grass especially as Suncorp will potentially host six games over seven days in July.

"Mal Caddies and his team have worked tirelessly to keep the surface in top nick for all the Stadium's hirers.

"Stadium management continues to work with the venue's insurers regarding the replacement of damaged facilities. This process is ongoing and will continue until restoration works have been completed."

Suncorp Stadium General Manager Alan Graham said replacing the field of play is part and parcel of operating a major stadium.

"We've seen some great results at Suncorp so far in 2011 and there should be plenty more with a strong calendar of events for the rest of the season," Mr Graham said.

"The grounds team has done a fantastic job laying the new surface, the field will have had more than a week to bed down before the Reds match on Saturday, and we'll hopefully be hosting the Reds Super 15 Final on July 9."