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Accessibility Kit changes on way to help colour-blind rugby fans

IRELAND and Wales are set to play each other in their traditional plain green and red shirts for the final time during a Six Nations game.

The green-red combination is a particular issue for colour-blind supporters, and it will surface again in next week’s Dublin clash between the countries.

Around one in 12 men suffer from colour vision deficiency (CVD) and one in 200 women, globally.

World Rugby regulations will come into force from January next year aimed at assisting those with CVD.

Those regulations will be adopted by the Six Nations, with all teams mandated to avoid kit clashes that could negatively impact spectators and television viewers suffering from CVD.

Six Nations guidance will see visiting teams asked to wear change kits where a colour match has been identified, meaning Ireland would wear a change strip in Cardiff next year if both kits remained the same.

Wales’ current change strip is black, and that would not have averted the problem at the Lansdowne Road on Saturday week.

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.

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

“But there are other ways to work around the issues, and kits with significantly different designs can help avoid the problem too.

“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.”

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