Tattooed rugby players will be asked to cover up during next year’s World Cup in Japan to avoid offending people, the sport’s governing body has said.
In Japan, tattoos have long been associated with the notorious yakuza crime syndicates and inked tourists can find themselves barred from traditional communal hot springs, or onsens.
Players are being asked to wear vests when using gyms or pools.
Tattoos are common among players, especially Pacific Islanders.
But tournament director Alan Gilpin said there had been no objections from teams.
“When we raised it with the teams a year or so ago, we were probably expecting a frustrated reaction from them, but there hasn’t been at all,” he said.
“We have done a lot in the last year or so with the teams to get them to understand that.
“The idea of putting a rash-vest [shirt used for watersports] on in the pool or in a gym, they will buy into as they want to respect the Japanese culture. We’ll position it as self-policing.” Read more
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