The Rugby kit (equipment and clothing that players wear during a game) features gear that is unique to this sport. In this post, we’ll break down a few items that are particular to Rugby in order to give spectators and rookies a better idea of why we wear what we wear.
The (short) shorts
I’ve played Hooker for 6 years- for the Arkansas Gryphons for a year and for the University of Arkansas for five years. One of the first things I noticed when I put on my uniform was the very revealing nature of rugby shorts. Rugby shorts are very, very short. Aside from the fact that than these short shorts show off our manly legs (you’re welcome ladies) rugby shorts also serve very specific purposes.
Rugby involves a lot of running. Further, rugby shorts are generally made out of thick, durable material. Due to the thickness and weight of the material used to make the shorts, longer shorts would inhibit movement. Longer shorts would also give the other team more to grab onto when attempting to make tackles. Therefore, short shorts in rugby serve functional purposes aside from being aesthetically pleasing for the ladies.
Rugby shorts are generally made out of a thicker, more durable material than shorts associated with most other sports. This is because rugby is a very rough sport, and involves a good amount of grabbing and pulling. When attempting to tackle another player, it is not always easy to get a hold of the player cleanly, and you end up grabbing whatever you can to hold onto them. If rugby shorts were not made out of such durable material, shorts would be destroyed continually.
Rugby players also often make use of large amounts of tape when going out on the field, typically around their head, or their thighs.
Rugby players tend to put tape around their head in order to keep their ears tight against their heads. This is usually done by players who play the 1-5 and 8 positions. This is because players in these positions are heavily involved in scrums, where their ears are subjected to a lot of pressure by being forced between other players. In order to prevent cauliflower ear, players will use tape to keep their ears taped close to their heads, to alleviate some of the pressure.
The Scrum Cap
Alternatively, some players will wear scrum caps in order to protect their head and ears. These caps keep your ears tucked down, and offer a small amount of protection to the rest of your head.
Some players will also place rings of tape around their thighs. This is typically done by players who are going to be thrown in line outs. The tape allows players who are lifting the players to get a better grip on those who are being thrown, and ultimately have more consistent and successful line outs.
Lastly, a common misconception about rugby is that players don’t wear pads. However, this is not necessarily the case. In general, players do not wear pads. That being said, some players wear thin, malleable pads to protect their shoulders and other parts of their body which are subjected to abuse during rugby. These pads are flexible, so as to not injure other players, as well as to allow maximum mobility.
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