Six Nations announce major kit changes to impact Ireland and Wales

Ireland and Wales will no longer meet one another in their traditional green and red  (Getty Images)
Ireland and Wales will no longer meet one another in their traditional green and red (Getty Images)

Wales and Ireland will no longer meet in their traditional red and green with the Six Nations announcing changes to their kit policy for 2025.

Designed to make matches easier to watch for colour blind viewers who struggle to distinguish between the two colours, visiting teams will be asked to change kit from next year’s edition onwards when a colour match has been identified. The rules are also expected to apply at the 2027 World Cup.

It follows a switch in this year’s championship from tradition that dictated that the home team wore an alternate strip in the event of a kit clash.

The change means that this year’s meeting in Dublin on 24 February will be the last time that the two teams clash in the men’s Six Nations in their familiar kits.

Wales’ change strip for the tournament is black, while they have also previously used a green alternate jersey, colours that do not solve the issue.

Abi Tierney, chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), admitted that the matter should have been sorted sooner.

“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,” said Tierney in a WRU statement.

“Of course, this is an emotive issue and red is such a traditional colour for Wales, just as green is to Ireland. Change strips always take a bit of getting used to and they can be ‘marmite’ to supporters.

Wales’ current alternate jersey is black (PA)
Wales’ current alternate jersey is black (PA)

“Our current alternate kit is black, and we have used green in the recent past. Neither of these examples 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.”

Colour blindness (colour vision deficiency, or CVD) affects approximately one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women. In the UK there are approximately 3 million colour blind people (about 4.5% of the entire population), most of whom are male.