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Northampton Saints and Premiership Rugby Continue their Support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign

Premiership Rugby and Northampton Saints is dedicating Rounds 17 and 18 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby to Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign as part of our mission to improve inclusion, supported by our title partner Gallagher.

As Rainbow Laces celebrates its 10th Anniversary, Premiership Rugby is proud to announce its support for a seventh season. The campaign aims to promote equality and inclusivity within sport for LGBTQ+ people and tackle discrimination on every level to help make sport everyone’s game.

Throughout both Round 17 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby (17-19 February) and 18, the special “rainbow” Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo will once again be highly visible at matches with players wearing Rainbow Laces in their matches over the weekend. In addition, the match officials will wear specially designed Rainbow Laces shirts and the assistant referees will carry rainbow flags.

As part of Premiership Rugby and Gallagher’s commitment to the Rainbow Laces campaign: 

  • Match official shirts will carry the special rainbow version of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo
  • All Gallagher Premiership Rugby players will be sent Rainbow Laces and invited to wear them in the matches in Rounds 17 and 18
  • Branding at matches will carry Rainbow Laces messaging or be turned rainbow to celebrate the weekend. This will include the flags used by assistant referees and this season will see Gallagher update the post pads in support
  • Gallagher employees from across the UK will hand out Rainbow Laces to supporters at matches in Rounds 17 and 18
  • All Premiership Rugby’s social media accounts will have Rainbow branding
  • LEDs pitchside will support the campaign
  • Premiership Rugby have partnered with Gilbert to produce a special ball and scrum cap to celebrate Rainbow Laces

All supporters and partners are invited to get involved by purchasing and wearing their Rainbow Laces to show support too and should you wish to buy Rainbow Laces click here.

The weekend is part of Premiership Rugby’s long-standing commitment to inclusion within the game which also sees Premiership Rugby working in partnership with International Gay Rugby (IGR) to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within the game.

Wayne Morris, Community and CSR Director at Premiership Rugby, said: “Premiership Rugby and IGR recognise the benefits of working together to improve recognition and respect of the right of any individual to be involved in rugby without discrimination. Through consultation with members of the LGBTQ+ community we will work with our shareholder clubs to improve tolerance and understanding at all levels – on the pitch, in changing rooms and in the stands. Through education and support, we believe together we can achieve our common goal – inclusion.

“Research by Stonewall highlights there is still lots to be done at all levels to ensure rugby is everyone’s game, both on and off the pitch. Only 43% of sports fans think live sports events are welcoming to LGBTQ+ fans, with just 40% thinking competitive sport is welcoming of gay, lesbian and bi players.”

Liz Ward (she/her), Director of Programmes at Stonewall, said: “It’s fantastic to see Gallagher Premiership Rugby lacing up to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion as we approach the 10th anniversary of our Rainbow Laces campaign. 

“We know that sport has the incredible power to bring people together and both Gallagher and Premiership Rugby have been longstanding leaders in supporting a more inclusive game. When clubs show up for our communities it goes a long way towards helping fans and players feel more welcome participating in the sport they love.”

As with previous year’s Premiership Rugby and Gallagher are calling on fans, players and the rugby community across the country to get involved and show their support by buying their own laces and wearing them with pride across the weekend. 

Bhuttu Mathews (he/him/his), chairperson of International Gay Rugby, said: “International Gay Rugby (IGR) are thrilled to support the promotion of the Rainbow Laces campaign by Premiership Rugby. Full inclusion is at the heart of IGR’s mission which is to ensure justice and fairness in rugby. We applaud the leadership, teams, players, staff, referees, and supporters of Premiership Rugby for their vision and courage in supporting this campaign. We especially thank the staff at Premiership Rugby HQ who have diligently worked to make this campaign happen.

“Any time someone wears rainbow laces on their boots, they affirm their support of the full inclusion in rugby of all people regardless of their identity or lived experience. Several teams and players, including notably from the Harlequins, have stepped up to be at the forefront of this campaign – they have our abiding gratitude!

“We call on other competitions and governing bodies to follow the lead of Premiership Rugby and affirm rugby as a sport for all.”

New for 2023 are Rainbow scrum caps which can be purchased here.

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