How to Choose Rugby Shoulder Pads

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

When people first hear about rugby they always ask "oh that's like football with out pads, right?" Rugby does indeed share some aspects with American football, but pads are allowed in fact allowed and often recommended in rugby.

Step 2

Rugby pads have to be made soft foam. No hard protective gear is allowed. Choosing a shoulder pad shirt comes down to personal preference. All shoulder pad shirts have the same basic thickness of foam (about .25 inches) covering the shoulders, but some have a few extra pads throughout the shirt.

Step 3

Rugby pads should be tight fitting and able to fit under a tight fitting jersey. While some padded shirts have padding over the upper arms, many players prefer sleeveless padded shirts. A lot of padded shirts also come with a layer of foam over the chest, ribs, and spine.

Step 4

The price of rugby pads varies greatly but the quality doesn't vary too much. Cheaper pairs can be purchased for $20 and some pairs cost up to $95. $20 shirts can be found at sporting retail stores usually in the football section and for many players these are adequate. Some positions in rugby, though, put players in more contact than others so the rib and chest pads come in handy. Paying about $35-$55 for a shirt with shoulder, rib, back, and chest pads is a good buy.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Shoulder pads are essential for the competitive rugby player. Understand, though, that it is only about a quarter-half inch of foam padding and shoulder injuries can still happen. Proper tackling form and strong shoulders will do a lot more to prevent injury than pads, but they are a nice addition.

Stuff You'll Need

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When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I purchased my first set of shoulder pads after my first year playing with OSU when I realized I'd be playing rugby for the foreseeable future.

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