The Ireland women’s rugby team will swap their traditional white shorts and make a permanent switch to navy shorts after players voiced concerns about period anxieties.
The navy shorts will be worn for the first time by the team when they take on Wales in their women’s Six Nations opener on March 25.
Speaking to the BBC in January, Gillian McDarby, the head of Women’s Performance at IRFU, said the organisation were in talks about the change with kit supplier Canterbury of New Zeland after consulting the players.
They say they will give other rugby players and teams at all levels who have purchased white women’s Canterbury shorts the opportunity to claim a free pair in a different colour.
Ireland international Enya Breen said the switch will help women at all levels of rugby feel “more comfortable on the field”.
“The top way to ensure we perform to our best on the field is by removing any unnecessary distractions,” Breen said.
“Wearing navy shorts instead of white is such a small thing, but for us it’s a big step.”
Last year, English women’s soccer side West Bromwich Albion switched their home-kit white shorts to navy ones due to concerns about players’ comfort on their periods.
The issue of women athletes wearing white clothing was also brought up at last year’s Wimbledon tennis championships when female players spoke about the anxiety of being forced to wear white.