In the old days, a certain section of the rugby-loving population would regard this type of picture as a desecration of holy ground.

The goalposts were bedded into Eden Park yesterday in preparation for the first fully professional soccer match to be played on the turf.

First league, now soccer invading Auckland rugby and cricket's home.

Eden Park general manager for sales and marketing Tracy Morgan said it was accepted times had changed and it was hoped Saturday afternoon's Wellington Phoenix-Adelaide United clash would be the first of many A-League games hosted at the ground.


"There's a realisation this is a multi-purpose venue now," she said.

The new posts, ordered from England at the same time as posts for the Rugby World Cup were bought, mark the first time Eden Park has used anything but portable soccer posts.

Park turf manager Mark Perham was yesterday finishing the concrete lining for the posts, which will be permanently buried under the turf.

"That's the main thing for us, to remember they're there. Big lumps of concrete have a habit of stuffing up your machines when you run over them," he joked.

The field has been measured up, conforming to the A-League's 105m x 68m dimensions.

The turf had plenty of work last month, with two Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, two semifinals, the third-fourth playoff and the final played in the space of three weeks.

Yesterday, workmen were removing the last vestiges of the temporary stands put up for the Rugby World Cup.

Between 15,000-20,000 people are expected to watch the Phoenix match.