Rugby stars given permission to wear TIGHTS during matches over fears synthetic surfaces cause BURNS
It’s one of the most iconic sights in the rough and tumble world of rugby – a jumble of bare and muddy legs sticking out of the scrum, even in the worst weather conditions.
But now players have been given permission to wear tights or leggings during matches.
With growing numbers of artificial pitches in use, several stars have raised concerns about the synthetic surface causing burns.
The change in rules, which brings men’s rugby in line with the women’s game, is believed to apply on all pitches.
England’s Henry Slade runs with the ball during the England Training Session ahead of the Guinness Six Nations match between England and Italy earlier this year. Rugby players will now be able to wear tights and leggings in matches as well as training
The decision to change the rules for men by governing body World Rugby could spell an end to the usual jumble of bare and muddy legs sticking out of a scrum during matches
Governing body World Rugby said: ‘The decision gives players the option to wear tights or leggings as a preventative measure, maximising access to the game.’
Glasgow Warriors and now also rivals Edinburgh, with the recent completion of their new purpose-built stadium, both play on artificial pitches — with Glasgow’s Scotstoun ground having come in for criticism in the past for its surface.
The World Rugby statement explained that the law change has been made on ‘welfare and accessibility grounds’.
It added: ‘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.’
There will also be a drive to improve the condition of artificial pitches.