Wales will take on Ireland in the at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this afternoon, but the match will be the last time both sides wear their traditional red and green kits. Ireland top the table heading into the weekend action, whereas Wales enter the clash second from bottom in the standings.

Things could've been much different for Wales though, with Warren Gatland's side having fallen the wrong side of two tight affairs so far. Despite trailing by 20 points at the break against Scotland, a spirited second-half comeback saw Wales narrowly miss out on a famous victory.

While in their second outing of the tournament, another close contest went against the Dragons. This time it was Wales who were ahead at the break, only for two George Ford penalty goals and a Fraser Dingwall try to sway the game in England's favour.

In sharp contrast to Welsh fortunes, Ireland have enjoyed a stellar start to the Six Nations campaign, winning both of their outings so far. The reigning champions despatched Italy last time out with a 36-0 win, but it was their opening night triumph against France that impressed the most.

Pitched as the final that might've been from last autumn's World Cup, Ireland dominated their French hosts at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, running out 38-17 winners. A commanding performance, Ireland will take one step closer to retaining their Six Nations title with a win against Wales this afternoon.

But along with the potential Grand Slam ramifications, this meeting will also mark the final time Wales and Ireland face off in their traditional red and green kits. That's because a new rule will be brought into place next year, mandating teams to avoid kit clashes that could negatively impact colour-blind viewers.

The ruling means sides will be asked to wear an alternative strip in fixtures where colour clashes are present, with red and green one of the most impactful for colour-blind fans. Managing director of Welsh Rugby, Abi Tierney insists this is an important matter, but has vowed to protect tradition and heritage where necessary.

"Kit colour clashes do change the way you watch a game and I have absolute empathy with those whose enjoyment is affected as a result," claimed Tierney. "Of course, this is an emotive issue and red is such a traditional colour for Wales, just as green is to Ireland.

"Tradition and heritage is hugely important in Welsh rugby and we want to reflect what the supporters want and what they are used to with our kit choices, but it is also extremely important to us that we are inclusive and welcoming to all. We recognise that this is a serious issue for many fans and we are taking it very seriously ourselves."

2024-02-24T10:39:14Z dg43tfdfdgfd