World Rugby changes rule to allow men to wear tights and leggings

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 13 Oct 2021, 5:27PM
Aaron Smith runs through drills during an All Blacks training session. (Photo / Getty)
Aaron Smith runs through drills during an All Blacks training session. (Photo / Getty)

World Rugby changes rule to allow men to wear tights and leggings

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 13 Oct 2021, 5:27PM

Male rugby players will be able to join their female counterparts in wearing tights or leggings in matches.

Law 4 of the sport previously only allowed women to wear tights and leggings.

But worries about abrasions from artificial turfs have seen World Rugby change their laws to allow all players to wear them as a preventative measure.

"With some players susceptible to abrasions on artificial surfaces, the decision gives players the option to wear tights or leggings as a preventative measure, maximising access to the game," World Rugby said in a statement.

"World Rugby will also work with unions and registered artificial turf providers to ensure that rigorous best-practice maintenance programmes are observed that minimise the risk of abrasions, particularly in relation to brushing and watering especially in hot conditions."

England prop Joe Marler started a debate last month over artificial pitches, which are popular in the Northern Hemisphere, by tweeting "Ban 4G pitches".

Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell also spoke out on The Offload podcast.

"When you get through the game, you feel alright, then your Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday sessions are horrendous," he said in regards to 4G pitches.

"I can't run. I feel very, very sore, worse than I normally would after a game. I don't know if you become robust to them or used to playing on them."

Nowell told The Offload podcast that players were getting nasty cuts from the 4G pitches which are fully artificial.

"It's all about cuts. Anyone who doesn't like them puts pictures of their cuts up. The cuts are brutal. It's crazy. You get boys having skin grafts.

"Players aren't able to train because their wounds are so badly opened and they're not healing and they're infected. It's horrible.

"You can promise until you are blue in the face how good artificial pitches and how won't get cut. No matter what you do, you're always going to get cuts on it, unless it's grass.

"That's just the cuts side of it. There's the shock side of it and the load side."