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Why are Scotland wearing white against France in the Six Nations?

White stuff: Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour in white shirts Rugby World

Why are Scotland wearing white against France in the Six Nations?

Although they traditionally wear blue, and despite them being the home side, Scotland are wearing white for their clash with France in the 2018 Six Nations. As France – known as Les Bleus –  also wear blue, Scotland have taken the move to wear white to avoid a colour clash. But if they are playing at home, BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, why are they the ones expected to wear a ‘change’ jersey?

Well, it is a long-standing tradition in rugby for the ‘home’ side to wear an alternative kit, should the issue of colour clash arise. This harks back to the days when the home side were more likely to have a change of shirt to hand. This is largely upheld in the amateur game, where the home side donning a change of kit is consider more in-keeping with the spirit of the game.

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However, in the professional club game, it is not uncommon to see the away side sporting alternative uniforms, much like teams in soccer do. For example, this season, when Exeter Chiefs visited Newcastle and when Saracens visited Wasps, the away sides in both Aviva Premiership clashes wore their alternative, white jerseys.

Orange is the new blue: Scotland's 'change' shirt in 1999 Rugby World

At Test level, teams most often revert to the tradition of home sides wearing a ‘change’ of kit. Although for commercial reasons, many Test sides may relish the opportunity to sport another kit in front of their adoring home fans, in hope that some may wish to purchase a replica shirt in an atypical shade.

Scotland are of course no strangers to performing in surprisingly-coloured alternative kit. In recent years they have worn a shirt with a saltire on the stomach, and who can forget Scotland’s garish, orange alternative shirt circa 1999 (shown above)?