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13th Jan 2023

Here’s why Irish women’s rugby teams are scrapping white shorts

A very welcome change.

Throughout its history, players on the Irish women’s rugby team have worn green jerseys and white shorts, mirroring the uniforms of their male counterparts.

That, however, is all set to change, with the Irish Rugby Football Union announcing plans to scrap the white shorts for a darker, navy shade.

The new shorts aim to reassure any player who may be on her period that if she leaks, it won’t be noticeable.

Gillian McDarby spoke to The Independent about the update, saying: “This is something that does impact us and that could be game-changing in terms of us not worrying about it. If it makes them feel that it’s not going to impact their performance but it’s actually going to add to it, well that’s a win-win for everybody.”

Throughout women’s sports, many teams have been ditching white shorts and bottoms in a bid to reduce players’ concerns when they are menstruating.

Last year, for instance, Manchester City’s women’s team swapped their white shorts out for a darker kit after several players spoke out against them.

In a statement, they said: “As a result of player feedback and the underlying topic of women wanting to move away from wearing white shorts while on their periods, we have decided to implement changes to the products we offer to our female players.

“Starting from the 2023/24 season, we will not be providing white shorts to our female athletes. We will always provide an alternative for our home, away and third kits to solve the issue highlighted by women across all sports.”

During the UEFA Women’s European Championship, English player Beth Mead said that wearing an all-white kit is “not practical when it’s the time of the month”.

Nike, who provided the kit, said that they were “deeply engaged with our athletes in the process of designing solutions to meet their needs, while also consulting the clubs, federations and sporting associations that set uniform standards and colors”. In the end, however, no change was made.

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