Rugby Shorts: History
Originally rugby shorts were long and baggy and made from cotton. In the very first matches back in the 1880s at Rugby School in England the kit comprised a red velvet hat, white jersey and white flannel trousers! Not very practical to play in or to wash afterwards.
Gradually the trousers gave way to ‘knickerbockers’, a half length trouser that was buttoned below the knee and finally long shorts became part of the standard rugby union kit.
Like the shirts, shorts have become more fitted in the modern era to reduce opportunities in tackles for players from the opposing teams to get a good grip. The material has also changed to mirror the shirts, with light weight and strong synthetic materials which combat moisture build up becoming the norm.
Since lifting of jumpers was introduced to the lineout in the 1980s, shorts have played a role in set piece play. The rule change has led to the shorts worn by second row forwards having reinforced stitching to help them withstand the forces applied during a lift.
Rugby Shorts: Underwear
Players of Tag rugby, the non contact form of the game, have lighter weight, baggier rugby shorts with velcro patches for the ‘tags’. However for other forms of the sport, the IRB rugby rules state that rugby shorts with ‘buckles, clips, rings, hinges, zippers, screws, bolts or rigid material or projection’ and there should not be padding sewn into them. This Law is why underwear is such an important element and why many players now favour compression shorts worn underneath rugby shorts because of the added protection they offer.
Resembling cycling shorts in fit and appearance, compression shorts fit tight to the body from the waist to thigh area. These shorts are favoured by athletes in other sports as they are claimed to aid performance. It has been shown that they can help prevent muscle strain and fatigue by keeping the thigh muscles warm during play. They also help reduce chafing by keeping moisture away from the body so lessening friction between the thighs.
Rugby Shorts: Manufacturers
Canterbury of New Zealand are one of the leading rugby gear suppliers, supplyig kits to many of the International teams, and their rugby shorts are favoured by many club and amatuer players.
Rugby Shorts: Get your kit on
The LineoutCoach Rugby store can help you get your rugby gear sorted. We have all the top brands in sport – Canterbury, Gilbert, Kooga, Addidas and all supplied via Amazon by Rugby Imports. Need a rugby ball? Looking for a great deal on a USA Rugby jersey? Looking for kit to get you started in the game? The best rugby equipment in one place at the best price.
We’ve got it all, so why not check us out the LineoutCoach Rugby store today and give rugby a try.