Protective gears include scram cup, mouth guard, shin guard and chest pad. All these are vital as they protect you from danger.
A padded helmet- like equipment with straps under the chin used for covering the head and ears. It is often used by forwards for protection during scrum impact, but some backs particularly centers' also wear it. Scrum caps do not prevent impact completely like helmets because they are soft and thin. Some rugby players do not wear scrum caps because they hinder communication and this can impact the game. Some do not wear them because they look funny wearing them!
Mouth guard the most important protective gear because it protects gums and teeth as well as protecting your jaw from damage. Two options are available i.e. off the shelf and the customized one. Of the shelf, mouth guards are made from thermos-moulded plastics. Heat the mouth guard then put it in your mouth while it is still warm. Leave it for a few minutes so that the shape can set. The mouth guard will retain the shape till it is heated again. The second option involves visiting a specialist who will ensure that the mouth guard is a perfect fit for your mouth. This option is the most expensive, but it offers great strength.
In addition to other protective gears, women are advised to wear chest pads. The chest pads are made of a soft, thin material. However, women especially seniors do not wear them as they tend to be bulky and expensive. Fortunately in recent years chest pads have been combined with shoulder pads.
Footwear for rugby players is governed by several rules like the IRB law. The best boots are light enough to enable the player to run quickly and should also provide a firm grip on the turf. Boots are made from either leather or synthetic, and both have advantages and disadvantages. Leather expands during hot weather to accommodate your feet but in cold weather it will seem bigger. Synthetic boots are often cheap and light and are good for children. The size of the boot is important because the boot will be worn with heavy socks. Therefore when shopping for boots it is advisable to ensure that you have the heavy socks. If this is not adhered to the boot may be too tight.
For studs, IRB law states that rugby boot studs should not exceed 21mm and should not have any sharp ages. Sharp edges are prohibited because they can injure other players during tackling and scrum. For soft surfaces use long studs while on firmer surfaces short studs are recommended. Metal studs provide extra grip while rubber studs help in improving speed and change in direction. It is always good to have both long and short studs then change according to the surface.
Screw-in studs are recommended because the players can adjust their boots depending on the prevailing conditions. Longer studs are useful if the pitch is muddy while shorter studs are for dry days. To prevent rusting, always remember to apply grease to the thread when tightening or changing studs.
Another factor that is also important in identifying the appropriate boot is the role and position of the player. Forwards should wear longer studs compared to the players in the backs.
These are useful because they add a layer of protection to a vulnerable part of the body. Shin guards offer protection in instances where a stray boot lands on the shin in close forward play. Lightweight shin pads offer good impact protection. Shin pads are mainly worn by junior players.
Upper body protection
Often known as shoulder pads but some products come with bicep guard and forearm guard. Shoulder pads might not be comfortable during hot weather as they are an extra layer to your jersey. However, this should not deter you from using them because one gets comfortable with time. Shoulder pads do not replace good tackling technique. Instead, they offer protection when tackling your opponents. IRB rule states that shoulder pads should be made of soft and thin materials and they should not be more than 1cm thick.
These include bags, kicking tees and water bottles among others. The popular variations on kicking tees are low set, medium set and telescopic which are adjustable.
All the aforementioned protective gears are essential because they help players concentrate on their game. For this reason rugby players should consider investing in these gears although they are not mandatory. Size should not hinder one from purchasing the above gears as they are available for juniors and seniors. The most popular brands are Adidas, Puma, Nike among others.
You are now ready to play just like rugby players during the rugby world cup!