Waratahs won't move rugby match before A-League grand final

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The 2017 A-League Grand Final will played on a pitch that will be subjected to a rugby union match less than 24 hours earlier

The NSW Waratahs have rejected Football Federation Australia's (FFA) request they move their Super Rugby game away from Allianz Stadium on Saturday to protect the pitch for the A-League grand final.

FFA CEO David Gallop met with Allianz Stadium's operators - the SCG Trust - on Tuesday to discuss a last-minute change, with the NSW government and the Waratahs also involved in negotiations.

With Allianz Stadium's pitch an ongoing concern for football matches - it was widely criticised after last week's semi-final between Sydney FC and Perth Glory - FFA attempted to get the Waratahs to move their game against the Blues to North Sydney Oval.

But in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Waratahs revealed they would play at their regular home ground: "While consideration was given to the request made by NSW government late on Monday 1 May, out of interest for the NSW Waratahs fans and supporters as well as other stakeholders, the game will remain at the Tahs' home ground, Allianz Stadium."

With tickets, corporate boxes and signage already sold for the Super Rugby fixture, the Waratahs would most likely have required significant financial compensation to make such a late change.

FFA working to get rugby match moved

It does mean, however, that the pitch for the A-League's championship decider will be less than ideal.

"We appreciate the efforts of Venues NSW, the Minister and the Waratahs to explore the option of moving Saturday night's rugby match," Gallop said in a statement.

"These things are always more complicated than perhaps first envisaged. The fact is our grand final deserves a world-class surface and the traffic on Allianz Stadium makes this a challenge.

"The standard of the pitch last Saturday night had a noticeably detrimental effect on the play and we implore the [SCG] Trust to work hard on minimising the impact of the rugby match to ensure the A-League grand final is played on a surface that befits the occasion."

COMMENT: Sydney shouldn't fear Victory in grand final

Speaking before the Waratahs made their decision, Sydney midfielder Josh Brillante made it clear what the players would prefer.

"Having a rugby game the day before is not going to help at all, so if they change that, that'll be great for us," he said.

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