Cardiff and Glasgow get blues in colour clash

Gareth Anscombe (Gallo Images)
Gareth Anscombe (Gallo Images)

London - A case of too many blue shirts may have caused some red faces among European rugby chiefs following an extraordinary kit clash during Cardiff's Champions Cup match against Glasgow on Sunday.

Both teams lined up in blue strips, with visitors Glasgow's marginally the lighter.

But they were similar enough to cause confusion to players, particularly when the sun was beating down in the first half at Cardiff's Arms Park ground.

Cardiff's Gareth Anscombe, his mood unlikely to have been improved by Glasgow's 29-12 pool win, labelled the farcical situation a "disgrace" as he slammed tournament organisers European Professional Cup Rugby (EPCR).

"I don't know who the guy's job is to decide that, but he has got to face consequences for it. It was an out-and-out disgrace," said Anscombe.

"I have never come across that in my eight years of playing rugby. Who is making those decisions?... It's a joke.

"We told the referee and the touch judges early on. They told us it was down to the home team to change jerseys, but I don't think that's fair," the Wales international added.

However, that would be to go against a longstanding tradition, dating back to rugby union's amateur era, that it is the home side who change into their second kit if there is a clash of colours.

Under tournament rules, teams must submit two kit designs to EPCR before the start of the competition and a fortnight before each fixture officials tell them which strip they will be wearing.

"The kit data gets sent in and they looked at the colours and said there was no clash," said Glasgow coach Dave Rennie.

"I'm not sure about that, and we would have been more than happy to bring our black (change) kit along."

Cardiff counterpart John Mulvihill added: "We complained before the game about the jerseys. The jerseys were exactly the same colour.

"It would have been an absolute nightmare for the referee, an absolute nightmare for the assistant referees, and running into that sun in that first half the boys couldn't differentiate who was their team-mate and who wasn't. It was ridiculous."

This is not the first case of its kind, with the tendency of modern designers to add colours to once plain shirts also causing problems.

When Scotland (dark blue) play New Zealand (all black), the home side have often changed to a white shirt to avoid a clash.

Yet a 2007 World Cup match between the teams saw Scotland, whose home shirts then featured grey panelling, playing against a New Zealand side wearing their reserve grey kit.

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