DUAL-code international Jason Robinson is certain that Keighley are already feeling the benefits of their artificial grass pitch.

The former England and Great Britain rugby league and England and British Lions rugby union star officially opened their RFU Rugby 365 AGP last Saturday.

In addition to the first team's Yorkshire One match against Selby, a schools’ festival took place on the pitch, involving South Craven, Parkside, Oakbank and Bradford Grammar School, along with an under-15 girls’ match between Baildon and Old Brodleians and an under-15 boys’ match between Keighley and Bradford Salem.

Robinson said: "Kids don't want to be playing in the cold, being caked in mud and using a muddy ball.

"Playing on an artificial grass pitch will help them, and all of the players who use it, to improve their skills.

"Who knows? Maybe a future England international will emerge from Keighley Rugby Club."

As the 43-year-old, who still looks young enough to be scooting down the wing, is married to Sian Griffin, daughter of Keighley RUFC chairman Sam Griffin, the hope has existed for several years that maybe the 2003 Rugby World Cup try-scoring hero would someday pull on their green, red and white shirt and play for Keighley.

However, Robinson scotched those rumours once and for all by saying: "After playing in Dubai a fortnight ago, I have officially retired.

"My legs are all right but the rest of my body isn't – though if you ever need a water boy...."

Robinson held a question and answer session before performing his ceremonial duties in opening the pitch.

Asked to compare league to union, he said: "League gave me a platform to play off, and I turned to union when I was 26.

"Some people want you to succeed and some people want you to fail and there are various differences in the sports, but there are things that you remember like playing for the Lions and running out to what was a sea of red shirts worn by Lions supporters."

He was also asked about appearing on Channel 4 celebrity winter sports programme The Jump earlier this year. Robinson, who came third, said: "It is a lot scarier than it looks, and at least it is a programme where you can't get voted off.

"With the ski jump, you go up in a lift and you can't see the landing when you emerge, but the skeleton was terrifying.

"I like speed and fast cars, but you put a helmet on and are going down head first on a 'tea tray' at 60 miles per hour with your nose an inch above the ice."