Ireland Captain Nichola Fryday hopes her side’s decision to swap their traditional white shorts for a navy alternative can ease player anxieties about periods ahead of the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.
The move has been made following feedback from players about competing in white rugby kit during their period.
Ireland are the first Home Nation to move away from white shorts and will take to the field for their TikTok Women’s Six Nations opener against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park in green and navy.
“If something as simple as changing the colour of your shorts eases that anxiety or that concern for a girl then it is a change that should be welcomed, and it is really positive,” she said.
“I think for female athletes if you are wearing white shorts, it is a concern that you can have and I think you should not have to worry about having your period when you are playing a match for your country or for your club.
🏆 On this day 2013 @IrishRugby secured an historic Grand Slam with a win over Italy 🙌
Take a look back at that day here ⬇️#TikTokW6N #OurCharge
— TikTok Women’s Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) March 17, 2023
“There have been surveys done about girls dropping off because of it being a concern and if this encourages young girls to continue playing rugby or any sport where you have to wear shorts then that will be a good thing.
“The menstrual cycle is a huge part of a female’s performance; our strength and conditioning and our nutrition teams are really clued into those sorts of things.
“There is loads of data about how your performance can dip at different points in your cycle, and I think that for us as athletes, we need to understand when we are at our peak to perform or when the cycle may make us feel a bit off.”
Six Nations Rugby, the official organising body responsible for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, broke all fan engagement records in 2022 and highlighted its commitment to giving the women’s game the best possible platform to grow.
🇮🇹 v ☘️ @ExeChiefsWomen teammates 💪#TikTokW6N #OurCharge pic.twitter.com/BbUP38EExv
— TikTok Women's Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) March 15, 2023
The 2023 edition of the Championship stands to build on this progress, with even bigger crowds expected, more international broadcasters covering all the action and unprecedented social and digital promotion for the heroes of the women’s game.
Ireland’s clash with Wales in Round 1 of the Championship is a rematch of last year’s opener when they fell to a 27-19 defeat at the RDS Arena.
Greg McWilliams’ side finished fourth last time out, but Fryday is hoping to see signs of improvement after a successful summer tour of Japan.
She added: “We just want to improve on last year, we have had a good run of games, coming off the back of Japan as well, they may have been mixed results, but it was a huge experience for us.
“We just want to keep building on that, Wales are always a big challenge for us, and they were the better team last year in that match but this year I think it is a good one to start out on.
“It will be a good momentum builder for us if we can get the win in Cardiff and we are looking forward to that challenge.”