Rugby shorts

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A young rugby player is tackled on the shorts.

Rugby shorts are a type of shorts that are worn while playing rugby. They are designed to take the strains of the game and have traditionally been made from cotton.

IRB Regulations on shorts[edit]

Law 4 of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Laws of the Game of Rugby Union 2010 relates to the clothing that a player may wear while playing rugby union. In particular:

  • Law 4.4 (c) states that:

"A player must not wear any items containing buckles, clips, rings, hinges, zippers, screws, bolts or rigid material or projection."

  • Law 4.4 (f) states that:

"A player must not wear shorts with padding sewn into them". [1]


Shorts should be comfortable, as tight shorts increase the chances of sustaining a serious injury. The longer and baggier shorts are, the easier it will be for opponents to pull an opponent back.[2] The colour and style of shorts are determined by the players club.[3]


Rugby shorts must be able to withstand punishment and should be thick enough to provide some protection while playing. Most have pockets and many have a drawstring to prevent them coming down when tackled.[3] While the most popular material has been cotton, modern shorts can also be made from higher grade polyester with reinforced seams.[4] The use of these shorts is increasing as they are lighter, more durable, more comfortable, and better retain their color compared to traditional cotton shorts.[5]


  • Tag rugby shorts are generally lighter due to the non-contact nature of the sport and have tags attached with velcro patches.[6]


The use of hard plastic padding of any kind, including jock straps, is forbidden in most leagues. However, in the United States, the high-padding of American football has influenced some junior leagues to allow, or in some cases require, jock straps.

Manufacturers of rugby shorts[edit]

Canterbury of New Zealand is the most popular producer of rugby kit. Kooga are a very popular supplier, particularly to rugby league teams. Paladin Sports is also a very popular manufacturer for both Union & League, as is Triple Play from Australia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Laws Of The Game, Law 4 Players' Clothing" (PDF). International Rugby Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  2. ^ "Rugby union equipment: shorts". BBC Sport. 2005-09-02. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  3. ^ a b Guthrie, Patrick; Brown, Mathew; Growden, Greg (2007). Rugby for Dummies. John Wiley & sons Canada Ltd. ISBN 9780470153277. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  4. ^ "Rugby Player's Guide". Archived from the original on 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  5. ^ "Performance Rugby Shorts". Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  6. ^ "Budlight Tag". Archived from the original on 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-05-27.

External links[edit]