Ireland: Women’s side switch from white shorts to navy blue to ease period concerns

Adam Kyriacou
Ireland women's shorts change six nations

Ireland women’s team will swap white shorts for navy blue in order to ease anxiety around periods, it was announced on Tuesday.

The welcome move follows similar decisions in other sports, with Manchester City’s women’s side changing to burgundy shorts, while female players can wear coloured undershorts at Wimbledon later this year.

First home nations side to change

Ireland become the first home nations team to make this important change and will be officially unveiling the shorts at the Six Nations press conference in London on Wednesday.

The move, which is led by world-leading kit supplier Canterbury of New Zealand and the IRFU, comes as a response to players’ feedback about period anxieties.

As part of the shift, Canterbury is also offering other teams and players at all levels, who have previously purchased Canterbury white women’s shorts, the chance to claim a free pair in a different colour. The opportunity applies to players who have purchased women’s white shorts from Canterbury in the last three years.

“The top way to ensure we perform to our best on the field is by removing any unnecessary distractions. Wearing navy shorts instead of white is such a small thing, but for us, it’s a big step from Canterbury and the IRFU,” Ireland centre Enya Breen told Irish Rugby’s website.

“Our hope is that it will help women at all levels of rugby feel more comfortable on the field so they can get on with performing at their best in the game that they love.”

Making women feel more comfortable

Victoria Rush, director of the film, No Women No Try, added: “As women, we are given a multitude of reasons why we shouldn’t play rugby, before we’ve even started.

“This decision by Canterbury and the IRFU is a first step in a much more important conversation about choice for women in sport.

“It shows how brands, clubs and governing bodies can make sure that every woman on the pitch feels comfortable, heard and respected.

“Here’s to many more decisions like this that make women feel welcome in rugby, and in sport.”

Ireland kick off their Six Nations campaign against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, March 25, before hosting France at Musgrave Park on Saturday, April 1.

England won last year’s Championship in a Grand Slam success, with Ireland finishing down in fourth position after being victorious in just two of their five matches.

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