What sort of extra playing equipment might someone want for rugby?
Rugby can be a hugely physical game; a game in which the players push themselves to the very limit of the physical and mental ability to come out on top. It is a sport which is known for having an often literally bruising effect on its participants, as huge tackles, tightly contested scrums and combative competitors see no one backing down from the physical encounter.
Understandably, therefore, both rugby union and rugby league can have a huge effect on a person’s body – research has shown that the impact a person takes when hit in a tackle is similar to that experienced by somebody in a car crash.
Bearing this in mind, there are extra items of equipment that rugby players at all levels can use, if they want, to help act as an extra safety measure and to make their jobs as players easier. We are going to take a quick look at a few of them that are available from pretty much all good rugby stores here.
Shoulder pads are worn by many players who regularly play rugby to offer protection to not only the shoulders and upper arms, but also the chest and top of the back area. Worn underneath the rugby jersey, they are lightweight and so will not weigh a player down, and offer protection in all areas of the game, tackling, being tackled, scrums, rucks and mauls. In many of the sets of pads, the padding itself can be removed so the shirt that holds it can be washed and kept clean.
Considering the fact that rugby is, by its very nature, a winter sport, gloves can be a great way to offer players extra grip of a ball that can often get wet and muddy, given the conditions it is often played in. Lightweight but with a special rubber material on the palms of the hands to offer the extra grip, they are often worn by players in positions who pass the ball more regularly than others, such as scrum halves, fly halves, and hookers, or others who may have to catch it while running at fast speeds such as the outside backs.
Scrum caps and headguards
Made of a soft, thin material, a scrum cap is a form of headgear that ensures wearers do not suffer from the infamous “cauliflower ears” problem that many rugby players before them have had. Cauliflower ears refers to when the ears get swollen after being hit a number of times, and is seen in boxing as much as rugby. A scrum cap covers and protects the ears, meaning this is not a problem. The headgear is particularly popular with the regularly scrimmaging pack of forwards.
These are three of the main items of equipment that rugby players can look to purchase to offer them slightly more protection when they are out on the field. None of these have to be worn by the laws of the game, and many find them restricting and so choose to play without them, but to others they offer help, comfort and support.
Author bio – James Crouch is a degree-trained freelance journalist. He has written on a variety of subjects, ranging from sport and news to animals, and from graphic design to the theatre and the environment.