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World Rugby partnership with Colour Blind Awareness

Colour blindness, or colour vision deficiency, is the inability to perceive and distinguish colours. Although it is one of the world’s most common genetic conditions, affecting millions of people, it is generally under-recognised and unsupported. It affects approximately 300 million people worldwide. Red/green types of colour blindness alone affect 1 in 12 men (eight per cent) and 1 in 200 women (0.5 per cent). 
World Rugby looked at the above statistics and found that in a men’s rugby squad of 32 players, there could be two-three players who are colour blind. They looked at the number of people who watched the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and found that approximately 250 million people watched the tournament. They went further and calculated, based on a 68:38 male to female ratio, how many people watching could have a form of colour blindness. It showed that roughly 12.9 million out of the 250 million people who watched the tournament, could have colour blindness. 
World Rugby have partnered with Colour Blind Awareness to ensure that the game is as inclusive as possible for everyone at every level, be it club, school or international. The areas they have been looking at are:
Any clashes between team kits of players and match officials; kits that clash with the pitch; and distinguishing fans in the stands from each other
Equipment used at training sessions and in class training
Ensuring colours being used for the wayfinding and safety signage at rugby grounds, such as stadiums, training facilities and rugby clubs are easily distinguished
How the information is provided on websites, purchasing tickets, and buying merchandise
The TV coverage of the games
The issues that all coaching and ancillary staff may experience in areas off the field. For example, understanding colour-coded spreadsheets and graphs or charts and presentations
They have come together to create concise and clear information in order to highlight the challenges that people with colour blindness may experience, while participating or watching rugby. The have produced a number of pages on the World Rugby website which addresses the challenges faced by those who are colour blind and how to ensure an inclusive approach for all. The information provided on the website by World Rugby and Colour Blind Awareness covers the following areas: 
Watching rugby
Hosting and/or organising rugby
Resource design 
How to support people who are colour blind
The first big step World Rugby are making is a change to their rules. This was following numerous complaints received during the 2021 Six Nations, after the Wales and Ireland fixture. Though they do not have the say over the management of the Six Nations, World Rugby are set to introduce a rule to prevent teams wearing red and green colours from playing against one another, in order to help colour-blind supporters. The rule change is set to be introduced for the 2027 Rugby World Cup as the terms of participation have already been agreed for the 2023 World Cup. However during the 2023 World Cup, World Rugby can request that teams change their kits due to colour clashes.
For further information on World Rugby’s approach to addressing colour blindness, click on this link
For further information on colour blindness, click on this link
Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make facilities or services more accessible and inclusive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail