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Ireland and Wales rugby teams to wear home shirts for final time against each other today

Ireland and Wales rugby teams to wear home shirts for final time against each other today

A new rule means the two won't be wearing their traditional kits when they face each other in future

Today is the last day the Irish and Welsh rugby teams will wear their home shirts as they play against each other in the Six Nations.

As rugby fans may know, Wales traditionally play in a red shirt, while Ireland wear green - however, this is set to change after today (24 February) with a new rule coming in to help people who are colour blind.

Colour vision deficiency (CVD) affects as many as one in 12 men and one in 200 women - with the red/green combination being a particular problem.

In an attempt to help viewers and players who have CVD, World Rugby has announced new rules set to come into play in January next year.

That means teams who have kit colour clashes - like when Ireland play Wales - will be told to change.

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Abi Tierney said: "Kit colour clashes do change the way you watch a game, and I have absolute empathy with those whose enjoyment is affected as a result.”

The team will their traditional colours when they face each other today (24 February).
Stu Forster/Getty Images

According to the new rules, if there is a colour clash, visiting teams will be told to wear their change kit.

In Wales’ case, the second kit is black, which wouldn’t have been helpful for those with CVD.

"Our current alternate kit is black, and we have used green in the recent past," Tierney added.

"Neither of these examples particularly help with this issue, and additionally, the colour red in Wales is not just traditional, but a part of our culture.”

Tierney suggested that there could be a work around for the teams, she went on: “But there are other ways to work around the issues, and kits with significantly different designs can help avoid the problem too.

New rules come in in January next year.
Michael Steele/Getty Images

“We need to think laterally about how we can overcome the issue ahead of next year, perhaps not just with more inventive use of colours, but in our kit designs too.

“If one team is in checks and the other is in stripes, for example, then colours become pretty irrelevant, but we are thinking hard about a solution that works for everyone.

“We recognise that this is a serious issue for many fans, and we are taking it very seriously ourselves.

“It is regrettable that we haven’t reached a resolution to suit all this season, but I can confirm we are fully committed to correcting that in the next kit cycle.”

Featured Image Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images/Michael Steele/Getty Images

Topics: Rugby, Ireland, UK News, Sport