Previously only female players were been permitted to wear them

World Rugby clear wearing of tights and leggings for male players

Male rugby players at all levels have been given the green light to wear tights or leggings in competition, a move in reaction to growing complaints about burns and abrasions on artificial playing surfaces in the elite game.

The law amendment comes into effect immediately after a ruling by World Rugby’s executive committee. In recent years, only female players have been permitted to wear leggings or tights, but the law covering clothing (Law 4) will also afford male players the opportunity to wear such garments if they choose, so long as the tights or leggings meet the governing body’s criteria.

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In a statement from World Rugby, they said: “Players at all levels of rugby will be able to wear tights or leggings for matches after the World Rugby Executive Committee approved an amendment to the laws of the game with immediate effect.

“Currently permissible for women, Law 4 will be extended to all participants with immediate effect, enabling the wearing of tights or leggings that meet criteria outlined under the law.”

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They also 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.”

Several clubs in the United Rugby Championship and Gallagher Premiership use artificial surfaces, including Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Saracens, Newcastle Falcons, and Worcester Warriors. In recent months, high-profile players like Jack Nowell and Joe Marler have spoken out about artificial pitches, with the prop simply tweeting: “Ban 4G pitches.”

We shall see how many elite male players opt to wear leggings or tights.

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