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15th Mar 2023

Ireland women’s rugby team debut navy shorts following period concerns

Ellen Fitzpatrick

They debuted today.

The Ireland women’s rugby team has made the permanent switch to navy shorts from their original white shorts following period concerns.

The move was announced in January that a change would be made following feedback from players to the IRFU regarding period anxieties.

The new shorts are set to be worn for the first time at the TikTok Women’s Six Nations launch on Wednesday and for their first match for the tournament on March 25th against Wales.

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

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Gillian McDarby spoke to The Independent about the update earlier this year, 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.

Speaking about the change, Ireland international Enya Breen also told The Independent: “The top way to ensure we perform to our best on the field is by removing any unnecessary distractions.

“Wearing navy shorts instead of white is such a small thing, but for us, it’s a big step from 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.”

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.

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