World Rugby to ban matches featuring red and green kits to avoid colour blind clashes
Over 300 million people worldwide suffer from colour vision deficiency
World Rugby have announced that red-green kit clashes will be banned at the 2027 World Cup to help people with colour vision deficiency (CVD).
The new law means that should Wales and Ireland be drawn to play against each other in the tournament, or in following games, then one of the nations will need to change jersey.
More than 300 million people worldwide currently suffer from some form of CVD, with the condition more common in men, around one in 12 affected globally by the condition, compared to around one in 200 women, as per The Guardian.
The most common form of CVD is red-green colour-blindness, with around 8% of male rugby fans and 0.5% of female rugby fans suffering from it.
Speaking to the I newspaper, World Rugby’s research, turf and equipment manager Marc Douglas said: "From our perspective, if you’re potentially limiting eight per cent of your male audience, that’s a huge number of people who are suddenly switching off."
As well as targeting kit clashes as a way of making the experience better for people who are colour-blind, World Rugby have targeted six other main areas they are looking to improve: TV coverage, equipment colours, stadium and ticket information, workplace issues and external information like sponsorship and emergency services.
World Rugby are set to ban red-green kit clashes to help colour-blind fans 🏉 pic.twitter.com/yhe1tOmq3A
— House of Rugby (@HouseOfRugby) October 6, 2021
Last month - on Colour Blind Awareness Day - Sir Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, announced new measures that placed 'visually-impaired considerations' at the centre of their decision-making.
"Colour-blindness is largely misunderstood and the challenges for those who play, coach, officiate and support our sport is often overlooked," said Beaumont.
"As someone who experiences those challenges first hand, I am delighted that World Rugby is marking Colour Blind Awareness Day 2021 by launching comprehensive guidance for all levels of the game that place visually-impaired considerations at the heart of our decision-making.
"Through this guidance, we hope to raise awareness and change culture through positive actions that don’t just address some of the more obvious challenges such as kit colours, but consider the whole match-day experience whether that be wayfinding, digital signage, branding or ticketing."
Scottish Rugby ambassador Chris Paterson has previously spoken about the troubles that sufferers face, using an example from when he was playing to demonstrate the difficulties.
“I remember playing at night-time when we played for Edinburgh and Scarlets would come up in their dark red, said the former Edinburgh man.
"I remember a couple of times making a line-break on a counter attack, running into what I thought was space between two of my own men and just getting totally smashed.
"Your focus is on the ball, you’re running and scanning the whole time … [it’s] because there’s not that real clear division in our eyes, I suppose."