Ireland's women's team are set to play in dark shorts to ease period anxiety ©Getty Images

Ireland's women's rugby team has made a permanent switch from white to navy shorts to relieve players' concerns about period anxieties.

The navy apparel will debut in the opening game of the Women's Six Nations against Wales on March 25, following the Irish Rugby Football Union's (IRFU) confirmation of the decision.

"The top way to ensure we perform to our best on the field is by removing any unnecessary distractions," said Ireland international Enya Breen, as reported by CNN.

"Wearing navy shorts instead of white is such a small thing, but for us it’s a big step from [kit supplier] Canterbury and the IRFU.

"Our hope is that it will help women at all levels of rugby feel more comfortable on the field so they can get on with performing at their best in the game that they love."

Across all levels, Canterbury is offering teams and players who initially bought white shorts the chance to swap them for a pair of a different colour.

Enya Breen hopes the change will help female players to feel more comfortable on the pitch ©Getty Images
Enya Breen hopes the change will help female players to feel more comfortable on the pitch ©Getty Images

A number of football teams, including West Bromwich Albion Women, have similarly changed the colour of their shorts to help reduce anxiety surrounding periods.

The issue of female athletes wearing white clothing was also brought up at last year's Wimbledon Championships where players also spoke about anxiety of being forced to wear white.

"My generation, we always worried because we wore all white all the time," former world number one tennis player Billie Jean King told CNN.

"It's what you wear underneath that’s important for your menstrual period."

The Women's Six Nations Championship is set to run until April 29 after Ireland travel to Cardiff Arms Park to play Wales in the first match of the tournament.

Ireland are looking for their first title since 2015 but face a mammoth task in overturning world number one team England who are favourites to win a fifth consecutive trophy.