The Ireland women’s rugby team has made a permanent switch from white to navy shorts in response to players’ concerns about period anxieties.
The navy shorts will be debuted in Ireland’s opening game of the Women’s Six Nations against Wales on March 25, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said on Tuesday.
“The top way to ensure we perform to our best on the field is by removing any unnecessary distractions,” said Ireland international Enya Breen.
“Wearing navy shorts instead of white is such a small thing, but for us it’s a big step from [kit supplier] Canterbury and the IRFU.
“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.”
Canterbury is offering teams and players – at all levels – who initially bought white Canterbury shorts the chance to swap them for a pair of a different color, the IRFU said.
Some soccer teams, including West Bromwich Albion Women, have similarly changed the color of their shorts to allay period anxieties, while Wimbledon announced last year that it will relax its white clothing rule to allow women to wear dark undershorts.
Explaining how Wimbledon’s dress code had caused her anxiety as a player, tennis great Billie Jean King recently told CNN: “My generation, we always worried because we wore all white all the time.
“It’s what you wear underneath that’s important for your menstrual period.”
CNN’s Matt Foster, Amy Woodyatt, Issy Ronald and Amanda Davies contributed to reporting.