The IRB have approved a trial for the use of Rugby Goggles for those with eye problems at all levels of contact rugby.
The Goggles are aimed at players with monocular vision or chronic eye conditions; with inclusion and player welfare underpinning the body's decision.
"Rugby is a game for all and the IRB recognises that not everyone who needs corrective glasses can wear contact lenses, particularly children, so we have been collaborating with a leading manufacturer to design and rigorously test a pair of Rugby Goggles that will be safe and effective in a rugby environment," said IRB Head of Technical Services Steve Griffiths.
"We believe we have done that now and this trial is good news for anyone with eyesight issues who wishes to play the game."
The approved Rugby Goggles are not designed to provide extra protection for players with chronic eye conditions, but if such players consider them to be beneficial they can be worn for that purpose. Features of the approved Rugby Goggles include high-speed impact resistance, anti-abrasion surfaces, anti-fogging, UV protection and a specially designed strap with no clips, buckles or sharp edges. Only those Rugby Goggles bearing the IRB trial-approved logo can be worn with referees empowered to make the necessary checks.
The global law trial means that anyone can wear the Rugby Goggles once confirmation has been received from an ophthalmologist (or similar medical professional) although Unions are required to participate in the trial before a player under its jurisdiction can participate in the trial.
"If the trial is to be instructive, we will require feedback from all participants about the Rugby Goggles so all participants will be requested to provide feedback during and at the end of the trial," added Griffiths.