As some of the world’s finest rugby league players showcase their talents at GIO Stadium as part of the Rugby League World Cup, Beau McFarlane has been busy working behind the scenes preparing the pitch.
Having been a greenkeeper for two years, the West Belconnen Warrior helped prepare GIO Stadium for the France and Lebanon clash last weekend.
“You don’t actually realise what you’ve done until they are out there playing,” McFarlane said. “It kind of sinks in about how many people from around the world are looking at your work.”
“When I was marking the lines on Sunday, the boss was in my ear saying ‘Don’t mess up! There are going to be billions of watchers so it was quite an experience.”
During the week leading up to the game, McFarlane and his colleagues took every action to ensure the pitch was in perfect condition.
“A week before the World Cup, we started cutting in the patterns you see on it to make sure they are nice and bright,” said McFarlane. “The week of the match we started mowing and using the turf sweeper which picks up any clippings off the surface that the mower hasn’t picked up and helps burn the pattern in.”
After this is done the field is line marked before the captain’s run before the whole process is repeated before match day.
Although the 23-year-old spends most of his day outside preparing pitches, he insists he isn’t too fussy when he is preparing to run out for the Warriors.
“I’ll always have it in the back of my head and check out the field but most of the time I ignore it because I’m there to play footy,” McFarlane said.