So, you’ve decided to take up rugby. It’s a great game, but expect a few bumps along the road to success, as rugby is a very physical, full-contact sport. However, with the right gear and protective equipment, you can minimize the risk of injuries and have a great time while you’re at it. This article will give you some tips on the things you’ll need.
1. Head Protection
If you’re playing in a forward position, meaning you plan to take part in scrums, you should wear head protection, because heavy contact within the scrum can have a lasting impact. Throughout the years, players from full-backs to forwards have all used some form of head protection as a means of lessening the chances of concussion and lowering the chances of ‘cauliflower ears’ caused by high friction in scrums and tackles. This headgear from Canterbury is great for players in any position. Canterbury has a long and respected history in the rugby industry and many of the premier teams around the world have capitalized on the company’s high standards. This particular headgear has an extremely lightweight design that promotes ventilation. You’ll also be thankful that it has been treated with antimicrobial foam to prevent the growth of bacteria. This is a great all-around helmet for any player.
2. Mouth Guard
The high contact nature of rugby means that all players on the field are at risk of being tackled. Heavy impacts can wreak real havoc on your mouth, and in some cases, players have been known to get overly aggressive and knock out teeth or even break jaws. The best way to stay safe is to take precautions, and mouth guards are one of the most important pieces of protective gear rugby players can own. They’re relatively inexpensive and have obvious benefits. This guard from OPRO is one of that you need to boil in a bag and will mold itself to your teeth as it cools. The gum shield not only protects your teeth and gums during physical contact, but it can also reduce damage around the jaw and incidences of a concussion. Be careful though, because a boiled mouthpiece will be quite hot.
3. Upper-body Protection
Upper-body protection is a relatively recent innovation in the fields of traditional rugby union and has come about since the game upgraded to a professional level. This sort of protection is designed to lessen the damage induced in the modern, physically intense game and is as such becoming popular in all positions from the backs to the forwards. This armor from Optimum is approved by the IRB (international governing body of rugby). Ten-millimeter padding on the shoulders, chest, and upper-back will lessen much of the impact that you sustain in tackles and will also add a level of comfort that is not common among other manufacturers. But remember, wearing body protection doesn’t mean you are invincible and can do things others rugby players can’t – you’ll do more damage to yourself if you think like that.
4. Rugby Shirts
Your rugby shirt must be able to withstand the heavy tugging and pulling that is common within match scenarios, but it also needs to be light enough so as not to restrict you. Comfort and durability are often difficult to pair, but recent innovations in technology have introduced new lightweight, water-resistant, synthetic fibers to modern jerseys. If you’re playing rugby for your school or team, a jersey will be provided for competitive matches, but it’s best to practice in one that makes use of the technology so that your playing style is not hindered by the change in the shirt. This particular training jersey from Canterbury is made with 100% polyester, which means it is ultra-light, breathable and durable. The imposing black design should also give you a psychological advantage over your opponents.
5. Rugby Shorts
Rugby shorts tend to be loose fitting as tight shorts are embarrassing and can lead to an increase in the chances of a serious injury. Traditionally, rugby shorts have been made from cotton and designed to withstand the rigors of modern rugby and many of the shorts available on the market today incorporate reinforced stitching and grip strips to help with lifting players in lineouts. These Canterbury shorts are excellent. Whether sported on the training ground or saved to wear on match day, these Canterbury Professional Rugby Shorts should become an essential part of your rugby kit.
6. Rugby Boots
Traditional rugby boots are remarkably similar to football boots and their main distinguishing feature is found in the high cut of the boot. This has been designed to provide the player’s foot with extra support around the ankle. However, increasingly players favor a football style boot as the lower cut around the heel improves maneuverability. These boots made by Optimum are really comfortable and secure on the foot, and they also feature a striking design that enables you to stand out on the field! Be sure that you understand the position that you’ll be playing in before you select your boot, as you could find that it has an impact on your style of play.
Other than the two teams, the ball is the most important part of a rugby game. Without a ball, your team will simply be fifteen well-dressed athletes standing in a field. This training ball from Gilbert is a great investment. It comes in all three IRB recommended sizes and also features a handy design that will help you and your team to learn the finer arts of spin passing.