A new law amendment from World Rugby, effective immediately (12 Oct 2021), will mean that all players now have the option of wearing tights/leggings on any playing surface.
The World Rugby Executive Committee today approved an amendment to the laws of the game and Law 4 will now be extended. Currently permissible for women, Law 4 – covering player’s clothing – will now be extended to all participants with immediate effect, enabling the wearing of tights or leggings that are a cotton blend with a single inside leg seam.
The announcement has been made on welfare and accessibility grounds and reflects the growing worldwide use of World Rugby Regulation 22 compliant artificial surfaces at both the elite and community levels, which have played a role in increased rugby accessibility and participation. 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 have said they will continue to 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.
The wording does not restrict leggings to any particular surface, so leggings may be worn in any match, on any surface.
New law wording:
Law 4: Players clothing.
Section 3: Additional clothing list – new section K added:
4.3 Additional items are permitted. These are….:
k) Cotton blend long tights or leggings, with single inside leg seam under their shorts and socks.
The Rugby Ref