What kind of gear do you need for rugby?

Written by lauren vork
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Rugby is a game with a rich history and highly active modern tradition. This enjoyable sport may be a great way to have fun and get exercise, but it's important to have the appropriate equipment, both for the sake of safety and for playing the best possible game. Though the equipment requirements for this sport have changed over the years, the modern requirements will insure the best and most current protection and enhancement.


The most basic level of proper rugby equipment is the right set of clothing. The typical rugby outfit consists of shorts and jersey, both of which must be lightweight, flexible and strong. Cotton is a popular material for shorts and shirts, with traditional rugby shirts made with short sleeves and a high-collar, polo shirt-like design that is often imitated in mainstream fashion. Some modern rugby shirts (most commonly worn in professional leagues) have updated to be skintight.


A set of sturdy and specific footwear is required for the rugby player. Rugby footwear is known as "rugby boots" because the game used to be played using high-top boot footwear. Modern rugby boots, however, are low top and more closely resemble soccer cleats, with each shoe normally bearing three or four pairs of large, conical cleat-like studs.

Body Gear

Body gear is required for rugby. It must be strong enough to protect the player, but not so hard or inflexible that it poses a risk of injury to other players. Most rugby protective body gear, therefore, takes the form of thick padding worn over the shoulders and chest (the latter in the form of a vest). Shin guards may be worn as well, but must be made of flexible materials.

Head and Mouth Protection

Headgear for the protection of both skull and ears has traditionally been worn in rugby for many years, though it has become more common to wear thicker headgear in recent decades. Before the 1990s, a simple cloth helmet with ear padding (or less) was often the only form of headgear worn, but players nowadays will wear much thicker and larger helmets made with rubber and featuring more extensive padding.

In addition to headgear, players will wear standard athletic mouth guards to protect teeth, lips and tongue.


Though optional, many players will choose to wear rugby gloves. These gloves are tight fitting, flexible and fingerless at the tip. They are designed to help players maintain a better grip on the ball.

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