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World Rugby Breaks With Kit Tradition To Assist Colour-Blind Fans

  • 2 min read

A new policy from World Rugby will see old foes clash in new kits at the World Cup in France to help fans with colour vision deficiency (CVD) distinguish between the teams.

World Rugby said one in 12 males, including the organisation’s chairman Bill Beaumont, and one in 200 females live with CVD to varying degrees and to accommodate them certain colour combinations will not be allowed at the tournament.

South Africa switched to their elaborately patterned turquoise and white alternate strip – met with both admiration and mirth in equal measure – for their 18-3 victory over Scotland last Sunday.

Ireland will take to the field in a white kit rather than traditional light green when they face Tonga in red on Saturday, while both Portugal and Wales will wear their alternate jerseys on the same day.

Australia will also don an unfamiliar white kit when they take on Portugal in Saint-Etienne on Oct. 1.

Under the policy, either New Zealand or South Africa would be barred from wearing their famous black and green jerseys should they meet in a World Cup game, which could happen in the quarter-finals or final this year.

“An estimated 300 million people live with some form of CVD, which can impact their day-to-day life in a variety of ways through being unable to see or differentiate certain colour combinations,” World Rugby said in a statement.

“Through greater awareness of the challenges faced by those with CVD and taking some simple steps to address these, those with CVD can have a more positive experience when it comes to taking part in or watching rugby.”

Kit combinations at the World Cup were also decided based on the potential for those taking part in games living with CVD.

“With player welfare in mind, kits were also considered not just from the perspective of fans watching on TV or in the stadium but also from the perspective of any colour blind players and match officials,” the statement continued.