Rugby Match Dress Code (Look Like a Rugby Player)

If you are new to rugby then knowing what to wear on match day maybe a bit daunting. However, once you have been through a game process once, it becomes second nature.

You’ll need need clothing for the game and club shirt and tie for after the game. It’s important to remember that you’re representing your club and need to look smart.

What to wear prior to a rugby match
What to wear during a rugby match
What to wear after a rugby match
What to wear if you’re a spectator

What to wear prior to a rugby match

The rules of what to wear prior to match will differ from club to club. Certain clubs will expect you to be in shirt and tie prior to a match however, a vast majority of clubs will expect to you see in training gear prior to the game for example a club hoodie and tracksuit bottoms. This will be comfortable if you have to travel a distance to your game. If your team is also in matching warm up gear it makes your team look unified and a formidable sight. Myself, being a social player, can see anyone turn up in anything but usually it’s jeans and a club hoodie.

In terms of the bag that you bring your rugby equipment in, a lot of clubs offer branded sports bags, which again make a team unified, although difficult to indetify your bag from the pile in the club house later on, unless your intials are on the bag. I personally prefer a sectioned off bag, where you can have your boots and dirty kit sectioned off from the main bulk of the bag.

What to wear during a rugby match

The easiest way to explain what to wear during in the game is to work from the bottom up.

Rugby Boots

Rugby boots are an essential bit of kit and obviously you will have your size boot. Generally a rugby player has a mainy black boot with a highlight of colour, prehaps a trim of a colour around the edge. If you do opt for an illuminous colour boot or something a bit out there (white boots) be prepared for some ribbing from your team mates and opposition. If you choose a bright colour ensure your game can back up the different colour boot.

The referee will check your studs prior to the game. Also keep spare studs in your kit, as if theyre easy to change if the referee isn’t happy with something.


In terms of socks there maybe club socks which you can purchase at the club shop. Failing this get socks that match your kit usually these will be dark colours like black and navy.

Under shorts

I’m a big fan of under armour under shorts, it took me a season to work out that you didn’t have to wear underwear with them! They ensure that chaffing doesn’t happen. The undershorts also protect fromw et shorts which again causes chaffing and are well worth purchasing.


Shorts are obviously integral to a rugby game however, it is easy to be very picky with shorts. There seems to be an increase range of synthetic shorts coming out. These are light weight and slippery, which is not great if you’re a forward and trying to lift someone with these type of shorts.

My personal favourite are the Canterbury shorts. They rugged and are a good short if you are bein lifted in the lineout. These shorts can be purchased from sports direct for next to nothing. Again your shorts should match your kit. I would strongly recommend investing in three pairs of shorts, one for training, one for a game and a just in case pair for if your shorts get ripped in a game. It does happen. It is also handy to have a spare pair of shorts as other people in your team will forrget their shorts. It happens regularly.

Padded Vest

A padded vest will protect your upper torso from the weather elements. The shirts also stop the rugby shirt from rubbing against your torso which happens particularly in wet weather. Although padded vests may very slight cushion an impact, you will still feel the full force of the tackle.


The rugby shirt will be provided by your rugby club. The smaller numbered shirts tend to be the larger sized shirts. The higher the number the smaller shirt. If you play high up in a rugby club then it is highly likely you will be assigned a number and your size taken to make sure that there is a shirt that fits for you. However, if you are a social rugby player, it is more a case of first come first served and you get what your given. If you are not in the starting fifteen then wait until the starting fifteen have choosen their shirts before you pick a shirt that matches your size.


Gumshields are an essential piece of kit and they protect yourself and other players. Most sports shops sell gumshields very cheaply and these are a onse size fits all gumshield which are moulded by putting the said gumshield into hot water. However, there is an option to get a personalised gum shield which is fitted by a dentist. These gumshields are slightly more exspensive, I purcahse one last season and they cost around £80. However, in my opinion it was well worth it, the gum shield fitted my mouth a lot better as it was personalised and it made it easier for me to breathe as there wasn’t so much gumshield in my mouth. I value my teeeth and if you do to then I strongly recomend a tailored gumshield.

Scrum cap

It is crucuial to remember that scrum caps are not for the prevvention of concussions. Scrum caps are to stop the impacts on ears and to try and stop blood clots in the ears which lead to cauliflower ears. Scrum caps are usually worn by members of the forward pack, most notably the second row who spend most of their time with their head between legs in the scrum.

What to wear after a rugby match

After a game you will shower and you will gt dressed into your club shirt and tie. You may also have a club blazer which you will also wear with your club shirt and tie. Certain rugby players like wear blazers and it is not uncommon to see tweed blazers around a rugby club house after a game. If you are at a higher level of rugby it is likely that you will be asked to wear suit. However, the majority of rugby players, you will wear a club shirt and tie, smart jeans or trousers and smart trainers or shoes.

It is always important to remember that you are representing your club and that it is important to look smart. As a social rugby player, I go for black jeans and black trainers. If an indiviual were to wear jogging bottoms for instances there would be an instant monetary or drinking fine issued to said player. If you are a new to the club and do not have a club shirt and tie, check to see if there are any spares you can borrow. If this is not an option then just wear a shirt and tie so that you look the part of a rugby player.

If you have moved to the area and have played rugby previously, then I strongly recommend that you do not wear your previous clubs shirt and tie as this will only end in a fine.

What to wear if you are a spectator

If you are a spectator than you dress for the weather. If it is the pre-season at the end of summer of the end of season in the spring and its a nice day then watching rugby in shorts and t-shirt is lovely. However, realistically you will usually be watching rugby in cold, wet and windy conditions. The most important this to do is t keep warm as there is nothing worse than being cold. Ensure you wear lots of layers and have a good waterproof. Rugby pitches can be like bogs therefore, it would make sense to wear boots or wellies.

Recently, I have seen these spectator tents for parents which are a great idea, which provides a bit of protection while watching your loved one play.

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