Your needs covered, whatever kind of rugby you play
We stock Canterbury, Gilbert, Adidas, Mizuno:
- Rugby boots
- body protectors
- head protectors
- kicking tees
Rugby union and rugby league are full-contact sports and very physical – players can expect at least a few bumps and bruises. But with the correct equipment, you can minimise the chances of injuries, as well as increase your enjoyment of playing the game. And with a little help you can get the right protective equipment and footwear to suit your individual needs.
Players have used some form of head protection over the past few years in particular, from centres and wingers and full backs to tight and loose-head props. Since 1995, strict laws about the use of protective equipment on the field of play have been put in place. The International Rugby Board (IRB) must approve any form of head protection. Helmets are usually made from lightweight but durable plastic materials capable of withstanding impact, and are often used by front row forwards to help prevent damage from blows to the head and ears. The most important thing to remember if you want to wear head protection is to make sure it fits comfortably. Try it on in the shop. If you can, scrum down with a friend when you are trying on different models.
Upper body protection is a relatively new introduction into rugby, designed to withstand the physical intensity particularly of tackling in modern rugby union, body protection is becoming increasingly popular among backs as well as forwards. Like headgear, all upper body protection must be approved by the IRB. It should be made of thin materials and must be worn under a player’s jersey. The actual padding must cover the shoulder and collar bone only and can be no thicker than one centimetre when uncompressed. Again comfort is one of the most important factors. Make sure it fits you well, otherwise it will be extremely uncomfortable on the field and remember, wearing body protection doesn’t make you invincible.
Rugby shirts need to be able to withstand a lot of pulling and tugging. They also have to be comfortable, lightweight, and long-lasting particularly through many washes. Traditionally, rugby jerseys were made from cotton, which can often get very heavy when outside in the rain. But new technology means new synthetic fibres offer lightweight water-resistant performance. Make sure you get the right fit – too small and it will be uncomfortable and prone to damage, too big and it will affect performance.
Rugby shorts are traditionally made from cotton, designed to withstand the rigours of rugby union. Second row forwards may want to invest in a pair of lineout shorts, a relatively new introduction in rugby union. They have reinforced stitching and stripes on the inside to improve lifting in the line out. Again, shorts should be comfortable – tight shorts are not only embarrassing, but also increase the chances of sustaining a serious injury.
A mouth guard is the most important piece of protective equipment a rugby player can own. The gum shield protects your teeth and gums during contact, and it can reduce damage around the jaw and also
help prevent the worst of concussion. As every mouth is different, so every gum shield should be moulded to fit around the top half of each individual’s mouth. A good way of doing this is to go and see your dentist, who can ensure the shield is right for your particular mouth.
The other type of gum shield widely available is the “boil to fit” variety which is moulded to fit exactly using hot water. Place the warm shield in your mouth and bite and suck on it for three minutes until it has moulded to the shape of your upper teeth. Be careful though, follow the instructions strictly to make sure you don’t get burned.
Rugby boots are similar to football boots, but with higher sides for ankle protection. However, these days more and more players are to favouring lower sided football style boots, especially in the backs, who like the lower cut for extra speed, especially when swerving. So you may want to let the position you are selected for drive the decision.