Watch It Play It Support It
What kit do I need to play rugby?
Having the right kit has been important to me since I started playing again. I couldn’t risk serious injury and time off work, so I went out and bought what I thought I’d need. The rest of the stuff I now carry about came with experience!
The obvious things you’re going to need are:
Boots - I bought my first pair at the local sports warehouse for about £20. They lasted about 6 games!
Once wet, they fell apart and the sole ripped off. I didn’t think there was much protection either - especially around my toes.
Top tip - avoid loud colours unless you are really fast and have thick skin!
These days I spend about three times that amount and my recent pair of boots have lasted 2 full seasons.
I order online (there’s always more choice) and returns/exchanges are easy with the right supplier - the two I have used for boots are
Lovell Rugby and of course, Amazon.
I also invested in some cushioning insoles (I know, it’s my age) because running up and down on the firmer ground in early/late season games would give me heel aches - these are particularly good XXXX
Top tip here - I wrap sock tape around my boots to hold the laces securely. Nothing worse than getting your laces wrapped around someone else’s boots in a ruck.
Socks, shorts and shirts are usually supplied by your team - if you need any (in neutral colours), Canterbury make some of the most hard wearing kit I’ve tried.
An essential is a good gum guard. I was initially sceptical about this as the range of prices is staggering. My son used to go for a fitting in pre-season at the club when Opro would show up and sell their guards.
It wasn’t until I got a knee to the chin in a tackle that I decided to buy better gum shields (it was ultimately less expensive than the repair dental work on cracked tooth). Opro are a good brand as are XXX.
Top tip - buy two. Keep one (un-moulded) as a spare in your kit bag.
They do get lost or you could be a hero to a teammate who loses theirs.
Body armour. Not really controversial items but oddly associated with embarrassment in wearing them.
That soon passes after your first hit from someone half your age and twice your strength.
My advice, suck in the pride (and your gut) and buy one.
Try and avoid the polystyrene, removable pads types (they’re fiddly and annoying). I use a Kooga top (in dark colours) with moulded, foam in crucial places) like this one [LINK]
Scrum caps are, to me, an essential.
There has been a lot in the press recently about rugby concussions and potential for dementias (LINK). I’m not an expert in that but I do remember bleeding for ages from a scalp wound and how much my ears hurt from scrumming.
I may (in the words of a current team mate) look like a space cadet but I don’t care - besides it’s hard to hear the laughs when I’m wearing it anyway.
Again, I use a Kooga head protector in a discreet colour (see above note re boot colour) - it’s your choice!
Some of my team mates use shin guards, one even once wore gloves.
By far the most common bit of kit you’ll need is tape, bandages and some brand of muscle rub. Electricians tape seems to be popular and comes in a range of colours should you wish.
However, I don’t like how hard it is to rip off after a game; so I use boot tape. Pay your money and take your choice I suppose but I have hear some horror stories about tape that’s too hard to break (LINK).
There’s one piece of kit that seems a luxury unit you’ve played in the freezing, windy conditions our country offers: base layers.
They work and you’ll be glad you got some - any brand seems fine.
I use Nike Pro from when I use to cycle and run a lot more than I do now.
For kids and those of us that are short-sighted there is something new: goggles. In January the IRB approved a global trial - for more info visit (LINK)
Is that it?
Probably not. There’s all sorts of other kit: bags, towels, wash kit, flip flops (for props only), sprays, waxes, bibs, training kit, cones, tees, whistles etc
Have a look around the Rugby Shop (LINK) - if you find something others would think is useful - let me know.
© 2014 Noisy Biscuit Club