UK & IRELAND’S 5 BEST RUGBY STADIUMS & PITCHES

Stadiums, clubhouses and pitches across the world have never looked to tidy, clean and have cracking grass growth, but that’s sh*t when we’re not allowed near them. So, it got us thinking…prior to lockdown, which are the best pitches and stadiums to play at in the UK and Ireland?

Not wanting to compile the list ourselves, we enlisted the help from our mates at Bath Rugby and who better to give us their expert opinion but NEAL HATLEY (Forwards and Defence Coach at Bath Rugby) and LUKE CHARTERIS (Line-out Coach at Bath Rugby).

With score cards at the ready, we asked Neil and Luke to pick their top 3 stadiums each, and then rate the newness, pitch, facilities, clubhouse and home team out of 10, the results are as follows…

1. Twickenham (London)

Capacity‎: ‎82,000
Owned by the governing body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the stadium hosts home test matches for the England national rugby union team.

Neal said “a full Twickenham can’t be beaten, especially during the anthems.”

  • Newness 8/10
  • Pitch 10/10
  • Facilities 10/10
  • Clubhouse 10/10
  • Home team 10/10
  • Total: 48/50

2. Principality Stadium (Cardiff, Wales)

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 28: A general view of the Principality Stadium (formerly the Millennium Stadium) on March 28, 2016 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Capacity: 74,500
The Millennium Stadium, known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the national stadium of Wales. Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also held Wales national football team games.

  • Newness 9/10
  • Pitch 6/10
  • Facilities 10/10
  • Clubhouse 9/10
  • Home team 10/10
  • Total: 44/50

3. Thomond Park (Limerick, Ireland)

Limerick , Ireland - 7 December 2019; A general view of the pitch and stadium prior to the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 4 Round 3 match between Munster and Saracens at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Capacity: 25,600
Thomond Park is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and has Munster Rugby, Shannon RFC and UL Bohemian RFC as tenants.

  • Newness 8/10
  • Pitch 7/10
  • Facilities 7/10
  • Clubhouse 9/10
  • Home team 7/10
  • Total: 38/50

4. Franklins Gardens (Northampton)

General view of Franklins Gardens before the European Champions Cup match between Northampton Saints and Benetton Rugby at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 12th January 2020. (Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Capacity: 15,249
Franklin’s Gardens is the home stadium of Northampton Saints. It comprises of four stands: Carlsberg Stand; Elite Insurance Stand; Church’s Stand; and Barwell Stand.

  • Newness 7/10 – it has an old school charm to it though
  • Pitch 8/10
  • Facilities 7/10
  • Clubhouse 8/10
  • Home team 7/10
  • Total: 37/50

5. The Recreation Ground (Bath)

BATH, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: A general view of The Recreation Ground, home of Bath Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears at  on March 1, 2020 in Bath, England. (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Capacity‎: ‎14,509
A town team with an old school feel to it on a professional era. Especially cool for night games. Right in the middle of the town and the crowd feel right on top of you.

  • Newness 5/10 – it has an old school charm to it though
  • Pitch 5/10 in the winter 10/10 in the summer
  • Facilities 6/10
  • Clubhouse 7/10
  • Home team 10/10
  • Total: 33/50

Do you agree with the chaps from Bath? We’re looking to hear what your favourite memories are from these stadiums, drop your favourites in the comments below and we’ll share some on our social channels.

16 Comments

  • Kevin Dufficy

    I think the location of the Millenium Stadium Right in the centre of Cardiff allows it to be better than Twickenham which is very inaccessible for London itself.

  • Kevin Dufficy

    I think the location of the Principality Stadium Right in the centre of Cardiff allows it to be better than Twickenham which is very inaccessible for London itself.

  • Roy Wright

    I’m a little surprised that Wasps Richo stadium doesn’t appear somewhere on your list!

  • Mark

    Limerick isnt in Britain ffs..fix that

  • tom brehony

    Where is the Aviva stadium ?

  • Where is the Aviva Stadium in your rankings…?

  • Alastair fuge

    Seeing swans paddle though the posts when it used to flood in the 1980s

  • Jon

    Hang on a minute, your so-called experts have missed out Welford Road. Surely the great place would score greater than a paltry 33?

    Newness 9/10
    Pitch 10/10
    Facilities 9/10
    Clubhouse 7/10
    Home team 4/10

    That adds up to 39. Even if there was disagreement with some scores, that’s a fair buffer before reaching the depths of Bath!!

  • Malcolm Benson

    As a Bath season ticket holder and a regular at Twickenham First XV member how could I disagree !!??

    I would have marked Cardiff down more due to state of the pitch which has never improved over the years

    I have some fab recollections at the Rec and Twickenham but my best one has to be in Yokohama stadium when I was there for the Rugby World Cup beating the All Black we stayed in the stadium singing for an hour after the end

  • Ian Mitchell

    Never been to Twickers, but one day. Living in Glasgow means few trips to see the English premiership.

  • David Parkin

    I Only Said Before Bath Is The WORST GROUND FOR FAN’S .I Have Been There Now 12 Times As A SAINTS FAN and To get There and get out Is Just Mad .Also All Stands Are Not Very Good.I Have Been Rain .A Lot Or Shine Say And Nigh And Its Just So Poor There Last Time I said That’s It .Also To Go To Bath By Train Is Not Good either .So How You Can Miss Say Worcester ?.Or Bristol./Exeter. No Idea. Take Care .STAY SAFE

  • David Downing

    Guys, what about Eden Park, Auckland, that place is a Cathedral to Rugby, just like Twickenham!

  • John Stewart

    That is the top stadiums possibly in England with
    Thomond park thrown in, who ever put this together
    Obviously hadn’t been to Murryfield.

  • David

    How can you leave Leicester out 25 thousand stadium great facilities very good pitch now.

  • Nick

    Franklin gardens is pushing it, top 5 . The rec is an absolute joke as top 5 . 10 /out of 10 in the summer Eg when nobody is playing rugby. Kingsholm, Ashton Gate and six ways all have more credibility than the rec.

  • Grumpy Gramps

    Castle Park Doncaster is like no other ground I’ve been to watch the Red play. The atmosphere was electric & post match you were able to actually meet players from the Red & teams. Also Bedford Blues ground ain’t bad either, but I’m from Yorkshire so Doncaster has to be my favourite. But anywhere the Red play there’s always great experience