Just like most sports, rugby apparel can be categorized as need to have, nice to have and everything in between. Based on my son’s involvement over the past few years, I can tell you the most popular apparel that youth are wearing now and the 4 pieces of clothing you need to start playing today.
While any shorts will do, rugby shorts are different from most athletic shorts. They are manufactured from a strong and durable fabric – usually 100% cotton, polyester or some sort of blend. The fabric itself must be heavy duty enough to withstand the most punishing tackles which usually makes it somewhat stiff and hefty. By designing rugby shorts to be really short, athletes have better mobility. Plus, it makes it tougher to get a good grip during line-outs if you are trying to lift your mate and all you get is a handful of baggy shorts!
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Remember wearing your favourite cotton t-shirt to the gym and it being soaking wet within minutes and not drying out for hours? Those days are gone. Today’s athlete prefers light-weight, wicking performance wear that is going to keep them dry and comfortable during the most intense training sessions. While every major sports brand has their own take on the training shirt, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be comfy. Even the most economical brands available at places like Wal-Mart offer dry-wear features. However, there’s no denying when it comes to style, design and the latest fashionable colours, the big brands are always desirable.
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Knee socks are the traditional style of rugby sock and given the very little amount of protection that any of the rugby clothing offers, this is one place where you may get a bit of coverage. But, even though the long socks are customary, many rugby players are now opting for shorter athletic styles with moisture wicking properties. My son prefers a wool sock to help keep the dampness away from his feet. Here in the Pacific Northwest where many a rugby game is played on a wet and muddy field, keeping feet dry is a top priority making waterproof socks an appealing option to some.
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A comfortable jacket or hoodie to throw on after the game or practice is essentially a must. It is important that your muscles do not cool down too quickly after a workout or you risk illness or injury. Choose something that is large enough to pull on even when you are still damp from perspiring. You may even prefer a style that offers ventilation options such as in the back or under the arms. The right rugby apparel is what best suits your particular training conditions.
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