World Rugby allows men to wear tights and leggings

Change caused by safety and accessibility concerns around artificial surfaces

England’s Paolo Odogwu, pictured wearing leggings which can now be worn during matches. Photograph: Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images

England’s Paolo Odogwu, pictured wearing leggings which can now be worn during matches. Photograph: Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images

 

Skinned knees could soon be a thing of the past in rugby after the sport’s governing body amended its laws to allow players at all levels to wear tights or leggings during games.

Law four of the sport, which covers players’ clothing, previously only permitted women to wear “cotton blend tights or leggings, with single inside seam under their shorts and socks”, but has now been extended to all participants with immediate effect, World Rugby said on Tuesday.

The amendment has been implemented on “welfare and accessibility grounds” amid the increasing use of artificial surfaces.

“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.

“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.”

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