Major sports stadium McLean Park's turf and drainage replacement is on target for its September rugby match reopening, despite a lake-like appearance today which may have made it more suitable for a rowing championships.

With the heavy rain from late Monday through today hardly unusual for the first fortnight of June, the flooding was not expected to cause any delays.

The project, a complete replacement of the oval to a depth of almost half a metre, started a few days after the April 6 Super Rugby match between New Zealand team the Hurricanes and South African visitors the Sharks.

Today, as the ponding receded, a council spokesperson said "there's no concern about drainage at this stage" and the project is on target for the park to be ready in time for a Mitre 10 Cup rugby championship third-weekend Sunday-afternoon match between the Hawke's Bay Magpies and the Counties Manukau Steelers on September 2.


The project, brought forward after deteriorating drainage forced the cancellation of a one-day game between Chappell-Hadlee Trophy transtasman cricket match in February last year, passed the halfway stage last week.

The work includes the placement for a drop-in cricket match to enable the return of international cricket during the summer, which includes the 40th anniversary of the first cricket test at the park, which was played between New Zealand and Pakistan.

A new turf embedded with artificial fibre is forecast to be trucked from Auckland and laid next month, with hopes the Magpies will be able to put the ground to the test in training as they prepare for their championship season.