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Rugby Equipment List


Rugby Equipment List: 4 Crucial Items For ProtectionRugby player drop kicking a rugby ball with arrows pointing out the rugby safety kit he is wearing

I have been a rugby coach for 5 years now, coaching my local mini-rugby team

Now I am no Pat Lam or Warren Gatland, but I do know that safety is crucial whilst playing one of the worlds most brutal and physical sport

And there are 4 main items that should be on every players Rugby Equipment List that can, and will keep you playing safely

In the last few years, it has been compulsory for children playing rugby at school to wear rugby headgear and mouth guards which makes me think…

Are our future rugby stars going to be as tough as they used to be back in the good old days? #toughrugby #futurerugbystars Click To Tweet

Rugby Equipment List For Safety

  1. Boots
  2. Body Armour or Shoulder Pads
  3. Gum Shields or Mouth Guards
  4. Scrum Caps or Head Guards

Take a Look at This Short Video of Some Rugby Injuries That Might Occur Without Rugby Protection

Rugby Protection

There are many ways to protect your body in this tough old game

But unlike the basic rugby kit like shorts, socks, jerseys and boots

Not all are compulsory, which I personally think they should be as I have seen my fair share of injuries in the pastMan wearing a bubble wrap suit and a bubble wrap helmet

I’m not saying that rugby players should put on a bubble wrap suit and get stuck in

It’s just that I want to see fewer injuries in this great sport

Whether it be rugby league or rugby union, it is still the same contact you get on the field

But yet, not every player wants to wear certain things

At the end of the day you are your own safety inspector…


Here is just a little list of what you should wear to protect yourself playing rugby

4. Scrum Caps or Head Guards

White and blue Canterbury ventilator rugby scrum cap
Canterbury Ventilator

These are used to protect the head from cuts and abrasions

Some people think that it prevents concussion, but this is not true!

They do reduce the risk of injury but don’t completely keep you safe

Concussion in rugby is a regular occurrence even whilst wearing one, so don’t think your head is indestructible going in for a tackle

They can also protect your ears from what’s known as “cauliflower ear” if you happen to be in the scrum where this can happen the most (not a great look I must admit)

“The elephant man springs to mind”

Some people are more concerned about spending money on the newest and sometimes overpriced boots on the market and having some tape wrapped around their ears than spending a few £££ on a good quality scrum cap

What’s more important to you?

This Rugby Apparel Isn’t Compulsory


3. Gum Shields or Mouth Guards

Black and red venom challenger rugby gum shield
Venom Challenger

There are different types of gum shields out there which I will go into detail in another post

But the main reason for them is to… you guessed it… to protect your teeth from getting damaged or knocked out

Have you ever looked at someone expecting to get a nice warm smile off them

Only to be greeted by his or her SUMMER TEETH

Summer in their mouths and summer left on the rugby pitch

It’s also to take away the risk of the opponent’s suffering cuts from your unprotected teeth

According to the British Orthodontic Society, the gum shield is the most important piece of rugby equipment stating that between 13% and 39% of all dentistry work is sports relatedWhat are the risks to teeth if you don't wear gum shields
Now that is quite high even though it involves other contact sports

This Rugby Apparel Isn’t Compulsory


2. Body Armour or Shoulder Pads

Blue and grey Gilbert rugby shoulder pad body armour
Gilbert Shoulder Body Armour

This isn’t what the knights of the round table, or the L.A.P.D wear

It’s a tight-fitting lycra type top that is worn under the jersey with small thin padding to protect the shoulders and collarbone

It will absorb and disperse a small amount of impact in the tackle

Some even some have padding to protect the torso and back

Women’s body armour has got added chest padding, for obvious reasons

Apart from getting the confidence of having that protection to your upper body, it is very important to get the correct technique and correct positioning into the tackle

This Rugby Apparel Isn’t Compulsory


1. Suitable Rugby Boots For Your Position

White Nike Mercurial Vapor X CR rugby boots
Nike Mercurial Vapor X CR

You don’t have to be a genius to know that it’s the law to wear the correct footwear

I mean, there’s no point going out onto the pitch with a pair of sandals on unless you want to lose a toe or three


If you’re in the forwards, it’s good to have a strong pair of boots with longer studs for better grip in the scrum

>>> See Here Which Boots Would Be Best <<<


If you’re one of the glory hunting backs, lighter boots are better for speed and the ability to turn in tight spaces

This Rugby Apparel IS Compulsory

>>> See Here Which Boots Would Be Best <<<

I hope you have learned something here… AND STAY SAFE

In Conclusion

Are you a rugby player who decides not to wear any of this rugby protective clothing?

Apart from the boots of course

Maybe you are a rugby coach that thinks that all the above should be compulsory no matter whatEvolution of rugby players Bigger stronger faster but at what cost

Or do you have any questions about protective equipment in rugby?

Rugby players are getting bigger and bigger as the years go by so it’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious injury

Is it worth not wearing any of this safety kit?

Please feel free to get involved with the conversation at the bottom of the page in the comment section

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Have any Questions or Comments?

23 comments on “Rugby Equipment List

Jay Ong

Absolutely, It’s always better to have certain level of protection in all the sports. I often see injuries happened on rugby and they are not suit up with protection at all. Any recommend on the gum shield?


Thanks Jay, yes it’s very important to have protection in rugby.
I will be putting reviews up about gum sheilds very soon so I will find you the best on that you need.

Daniel - Classic Rock Days

Wow, it was really interesting, I enjoyed reading. Look forward to reading more good materials on the subject. Thank you for sharing this!

Juan Valles

Hi Matthew. I have absolutely no idea how Rugby works except that it is a hardcore sport. That is why I decided this was the first post I would read on your site. It was a great introduction to the gear for me. Compared to American football, there is hardly any padding in Rugby. I had no idea there WAS padding. I assumed protection was basically a helmet and shoes. Thanks!


Hi Juan. Yes rugby is definitely a hard-core sport and like most sports, you need to have protection and most importantly, the headboard is a vital piece of clothing in my eyes.
I am pleased that I have educated at least one person in the importance of protective clothing in rugby.


This has brought me back to fond memories of when I used to play. Some day I would like to get back on the pitch and hit a few tackles again!


You’re never to old to get back into it 😉

Kevin Bulmer

I often wondered about the skull cap, and figured it might help the ears. I laughed out loud at your observation (not the best look, I must admit)!

Rugby is something I’ve never truly followed but always respected.

I really enjoy your style of writing. Keep up the great work!


Thank you very much for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and hope to see you back soon


I am definitely a sports fan, but did not know much about rugby at all. After reading your post, I know more than ever. The part about summer teeth is hilarious but at the same time is very true about the importance of protecting teeth while playing sports. I truly enjoyed reading your post. Your writing style is informative, humorous and certainly holds the reader’s interest. Great job!


I aim to please lol, but I’m really glad it has taught you something


Great advice. In rugby these protection items are key. I have been playing soccer and handball for many years and I am still wondering why we didn’t really use any protection…


I real,y think they are a must these days, what is handball by the way?


This is a comprehensive list of most of the equipment you need for rugby. I have not played rugby but if it is similar to football then they should research more of what they could do to equipment to make it safer and more effective for players. What’s your number one recommended piece of equipment?


Thanks Jon, of course all rugby players should wear rugby boots but the equipment that is not compulsory I really think that all players should be made to wear Gum Shields

Dave Sweney

Rugby is the closest sport to the NFL that I have seen, and I often wonder that the rugby players wear very little padding or protective gear. That appears to be changing and I agree with this. The basic protections that you will get with the gear that you have highlighted makes a lot of sense.

Of course, just like in the old days of the NFL, it really is some tough going out there when you see the teams going head to head and they appear to have no protection at all, but as a coach, I am sure that you see the need for protection, especially around the head.

The equipment you have highlighted all looks rather basic and should not detract from a player’s ability to play the game, and the footgear can actually make their game better I think. Thanks for this interesting post and I look forward to catching the next match (I am in Dubai, there are a lot both on TV and in stadiums and tournaments here).


Head protection in rugby is not compulsory at the moment but I’m hoping it will be very soon as head injuries in rugby can be very dangerous 


I live in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, and as you probably know – rugby is like a religion around here! 

When I played, there was no such thing as safety equipment, so this is all new to me. My eleven year old son is just taking on the sport more seriously at school and I’m wondering what safety equipment I should invest in for him. Do children at this age need this equipment?

Thanks for your response in advance. 



All of this rugby safety equipment isn’t compulsory but it certainly is necessary. Make your son safe on the rugby field 🙂


hi shwni, your blog is really helpful because prevention is really better than cure, I love this game when I see the players but rugby player play hard apart from the rugby kit protect the players it also make the game look professional, my question is if am to learn how to play rugby can I learn with the kit and hope the kit will not be too heavy like an iron garments for the war lord. Hope you understand my question.?


No sir, all the rugby protection is really lightweight so you should be okay 


I was thinking about starting playing rugby for a while now. I found a local team to start practicing and the coach said that I need some equipment to get started.

Do I have to buy everything or is just the helmet and a mouthguard enough? I mean, I don’t know if I’ll like the sport so I don’t really want to spend much money on stuff that I might not be using in 4 months from now…


You still have to wear the Rugby Boots


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