Buying a new rugby ball - a quick guide

Buying a new rugby ball - a quick guide

When buying a rugby ball for the first time there are a few things to think about.

Firstly, who is the ball for? Age will typically determine the correct size of the rugby ball you need - although not always.

Secondly, what will the ball be used for? Will it be used for training or matches? If the ball is going to be used frequently, say for training sessions, it’s important to look for a ball made from durable material.

And lastly, budget. Match balls are built for performance but with this comes a higher price point. Training balls on the other hand are made to last - what they lose in performance and handling they make up for in durability and longevity.

Match balls

Match balls like the Raider or Omega, are often made from a higher concentration of natural rubber which is better for grip and performance. The ball valve will also often be located within the seam of the ball too, to aid in better spin and flight.

Training balls

Training balls like the RAM Gripper, Rhino Cyclone and Gilbert G-TR4000 are developed with cost, quality, performance and longevity in mind. These are often made with a synthetic rubber, so grip on a training ball is limited versus that of a match ball.

Some suppliers have started to develop new grip patterns on the surface area of their training balls to counteract this reduced natural grip.

Over time, the lines are blurring as balls across the board improve.

Picking the right rugby ball size

So what size do you need?

  • Age 7-9 (Size 3)
  • Age 10-14 (Size 4)
  • Age 15+ (Size 5)

Here is a breakdown of approximate ball dimensions:

  • Size 5 - Length 585mm, Width 285mm
  • Size 4 - Length 545mm, Width 275mm
  • Size 3 - Length 535mm, Width 255mm

Besides regular rugby balls that are used for training sessions and matches, there are also those designed to support player skills development - these include:

A Solo Skills (Rebounder) Ball:

Designed with one flat side & one regular side, the rebounder ball has been designed as a solo skills training aid - the ball will bounce back, spin and return to a player when thrown against a wall.

The solo skills ball from RAM Rugby is one of our best-selling products. It’s perfect for players wanting to work on their hand positioning, passing technique and accuracy.

A Pass Developer:

This is a weighted ball that is used to develop wrist strength and pass power. A pass developer helps to increase pass distance and speed. When transitioning back to a regular training ball or match ball, the difference is noticeable.

The RAM Rugby pass developer is available in 3 sizes / weights:

Size 5 - 1kg

Size 4 - 800g

Size 3 - 700g

A Reflex Trainer:

This works with a bungee system that connects the ball to the wrists and allows a player to do solo throwing and catching drills - the proximity of the ball also means the player has to work on their reflexes as the ball returns.

This kit is perfect if noise is a problem (no need to throw the ball against anything) and if space is limited.

A Super Jumbo:

A Super Jumbo is a size 8 training ball. It’s the stuff of legend. They are a favourite amongst rugby teams for away days and popular with the youngsters for their sheer novelty. Great fun and always likely to make an impression, the Super Jumbo makes for a fab rugby gift.

A Mini Rugby Ball:

A mini is a size 1 rugby ball (the smallest we do), perfect for the littles ones who need entertainment or younger players starting out on their rugby adventure. Minis come in a range of fun designs, from official mini replica balls, to dinosaur balls, space monster balls and monkey minis.

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