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The Top 5 Worst Rugby Jerseys of All Time!

Designing jerseys for the world’s most iconic teams is no small feat. The task is laden with pressure, as it requires a delicate balance of tradition, modernity, functionality, symbolism, and artistic expression.

The goal? To create a kit that not only unites fans but also boosts the confidence of the players.

However, not all designs hit the mark. This is particularly true for the alternate strip, which isn’t bound by the same stringent ties to tradition. Sometimes, the design team misses the mark, leading to some questionable outcomes.

Brace yourselves as we dive into the archives. We’ve handpicked our selection of the Top 5 Worst Rugby Jerseys of All Time. Prepare to shield your eyes – it’s about to get ugly!

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#5. Blue Bulls (2014)

#4. England Sevens (2013)

#3.Stade Francaise (2010)

#2. Romania (2021)

#1. Stade Francais (2009)

#5. Blue Bulls Alternate Jersey (2014)

John Cena might find himself in a competition with this one – after all, is the goal to be seen or not? (We couldn’t resist that one, sorry!)

Emerging as one of the most contentious jerseys of 2014, the Blue Bulls Alternate shirt didn’t exactly win the hearts of fans. Its camouflage design was a stark departure from the traditional light blue strip associated with the team. The audacious switch to a khaki green and brown colour scheme was met with resistance.

The controversy didn’t stop there. The shirt’s symbolism, presenting a ‘symbol of war’, was widely criticized. Many felt it was inappropriate for a sports team to be associated with military uniforms and warfare.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 05: Handre Pollard from the Bulls during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls at DHL Newlands Stadium on July 05, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images)

While some fans preferred this design over the 2013 pink jersey, many felt the Bulls were straying from tradition with their camo take. The team later returned to their traditional light blue strip for the Currie Competition.

Barend van Graan, the then CEO of Blue Bulls Company, remarked, ‘We firmly believe that the simplicity, yet elegance of the design makes a bold statement.’

As the saying goes, “better late than never!”

#4. England Sevens Alternate Jersey (2013)

Next in line is the England Sevens Alternate Jersey from 2013/14, a design that certainly raised eyebrows…

While it’s true that some fans appreciated the boldness of the kit, we can’t help but feel it might have crossed a line.

There’s no denying that a splash of colour can be refreshing, but this alternate jersey took a leap away from the traditional white strip.

It incorporated the colours of the English rose in a pixelated image, arranged in a geometric pattern to represent the fluidity and speed of the game.

While we can understand the thought process behind the design, it’s fair to say that the shirt’s aesthetic appeal was questionable.

Just like the Blue Bulls Alternate shirt, this jersey also stirred controversy among fans due to its deviation from tradition. However, as the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder!”.

So, while some fans might have found it unattractive, others might have seen it as a refreshing change.

#3. Stade Francais 2010/11 Jersey

Ranked third is the 2010 Stade Francais Jersey. Known for their unique and often unconventional designs, Stade Francais has produced several jerseys over the years that have become instant classics.

However, not all their designs have been well-received, and the 2010 jersey is a prime example.

The effort put into this graphic shirt is commendable when viewed as a standalone piece. Yet, it evokes more of a beach T-shirt vibe than that of sportswear. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well on the pitch, resulting in a jumbled mix of faces and colours that didn’t resonate with fans.

This jersey marked a departure from the traditional, simpler designs typically associated with rugby jerseys. However, its complexity and visually overwhelming design proved to be too much.

#2. Romania National Rugby Team Jersey (2021)

In 2021, Romania was a formidable force, but their Alternate Team Jersey was a formidable flop.

Venturing into controversial territory here, the Romania National Team Jersey of 2021 is arguably the most questionable piece of kit to emerge from the Macron factory.

Having been unveiled alongside the attractive White Strip, fans were left puzzled, unsure of what to make of the intense striping and bold colouring, which can be likened to the concept of “if McDonald’s had carpets” – it leaves us in a state of uncertainty!

Surely, Macron probably thought this was a modern fusion of the colours of Romania’s flag, but in reality, it appears outdated, as if decorated by a child who got their hands on a Crayola set and let their imagination run wild.

Apologies, but it needed to be said!

#1. Stade Francais 2009/10 Alternate Jersey

In a daring departure from traditional jersey designs, the Stade Francais Jersey of 2009/10 was a sight to behold, earning the dubious distinction of possibly being the worst rugby jersey of all time.

While the audacious pinks and contrasting blues, which pay tribute to the Parisian team’s colours, can be appreciated, the execution of the graphic elements leaves much to be desired.

More akin to a “Hannah Montana concert T-shirt” than a rugby jersey, the design draws its inspiration from cultural heritage.

But how exactly?

The jersey features an image of Blanche de Castille, wife of Louis VIII and mother of Louis IX. The design was inspired by Andy Warhol’s art style, sparking a debate about the appropriateness of using a distinctive and historical figure on a sports jersey.

The controversy wasn’t solely about the use of the historical figure, but also about the overall design and colour scheme of the jersey. It deviated from typically conservative and simple designs, opting for a bold design that ignited a debate about the role of art and fashion in sports.

When worn on the pitch, it was quite the spectacle, and left a lot of fans scratching their heads thinking, “Did a bunch of Miley Cyrus superfans just storm the pitch?!”.

It’s a bit of eyesore, but you can’t deny, it’s got that iconic status.

Which Jerseys are in your Top 5?

Let us know in the comments which Rugby Jersey you consider to be the worst of all time!

As always, be sure to stay in the loop with the latest Guides, Boot Drops & Rugby News right here at The Full 80.

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The Top 10 Player Apperances in Gallagher Premiership History!

As we gear up for the thrilling Gallagher Premiership final and eagerly anticipate who will seize the coveted Premiership Rugby trophy, let’s take a moment to celebrate the legends of the game.

We’ve scoured the archives to honor the Premiership’s most prolific players, spotlighting their remarkable number of appearances, invaluable contributions to their teams, and lasting impact on the sport.

So without further ado, let’s dive into our countdown of the Top 10 Player Appearances in Gallagher Premiership History!

Tom May – (247)

Kickstarting our list at number 10, we have former rugby union star Tom May, whose impressive nineteen-year career saw him shine as a utility back for teams like Newcastle Falcons, Toulon Rugby, Northampton Saints, and London Welsh.

Racking up an extraordinary 247 Premiership appearances, May delivered some unforgettable moments on the field. Notably, he scored two tries for Newcastle in their thrilling victory over Harlequins in the 2001 Tetley’s Bitter Cup final. He also played a crucial role in the 2004 Premiership final, leading Newcastle to triumph over Sale Sharks.

In the later stages of his career, May captained London Welsh during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons.

His leadership in the 2013/14 season was particularly remarkable, as he steered the team to promotion via the Championship play-offs, marking a significant highlight in his storied career.

Charlie Hodgson – (254)

Starting his senior career with the Sale Sharks in 2000 and later moving to Saracens in 2011, Charlie Hodgson quickly became a formidable presence in the Gallagher Premiership.

Hodgson secured his first Premiership title with Sale Sharks in 2006 and further bolstered his impressive resume with titles at Saracens in 2015 and 2016. Over his stellar career, he amassed 254 Premiership appearances, proudly wearing the coveted number ten shirt for both Sale Sharks and Saracens.

Hodgson’s legacy is cemented by his record as the all-time leading points scorer in the Premiership, with an astonishing 2,625 points—a remarkable feat that remains unbeaten to this day.

Phil Dowson – (262)

Amassing a staggering 262 Gallagher Premiership appearances, Phil Dowson’s journey towards becoming the Director of Rugby for the Northampton Saints is nothing short of remarkable.

Making his debut in 2001 for the Newcastle Falcons, Dowson was predominantly situated as a number 8, but his versatility allowed him to play on the flanks when required.

He later added to his roster of teams by playing for Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors before retiring from professional rugby in 2017.

Throughout his career, he was known for his exceptional playmaking and leadership on the field, helping the Saints win the Premiership title in 2014.

George Chuter – (262)

Ranking 7th on the list is George Chuter, who initiated his esteemed career back in 1996 with Saracens. Following a four-year stint with the team, he embarked on a globe-trotting journey before settling at Leicester, where he remained until his retirement.

During his tenure at Leicester, Chuter etched a significant legacy by featuring in seven Premiership finals. His remarkable consistency and enduring presence culminated in a historic milestone of 250 appearances, a feat unparalleled in Premiership history.

Chuter’s impressive tally of 262 Premiership appearances remained unmatched until it was later eclipsed by Steve Borthwick.

Over a span of fifteen years, his journey in the top tier spanned across both Saracens and Leicester.

In 2014, as he bid adieu to the playing field, Chuter’s illustrious career was honored with an induction into the Rugby Premiership Hall of Fame.

As George Chuter’s playing days drew to a close, his legacy persists as a source of inspiration for budding rugby players of the next generation.

Steve Borthwick -(265)

Coming in at number 6 is Steve Borthwick.

With an impressive total of 265 Premiership appearances—a record at the time—Borthwick was a dominant force in the league from 1998 to 2014.

Borthwick’s career began at Bath, where he made a remarkable 246 appearances from 1998 to 2008. He then moved to Saracens, adding another 144 appearances to his name from 2008 to 2014.

Playing in the second row as a lock, Borthwick was renowned for his dedication and instrumental role in his teams’ success. His outstanding playmaking earned him a call-up to the England squad, where he made his debut against France in the Six Nations.

Borthwick’s impact was immediate at Saracens. Just one season after joining, his leadership and experience helped Saracens secure their first Premiership title during the 2010-2011 season.

Alex Goode – (265)

Debuting for Saracens in 2008, Alex Goode has made 265 Gallagher Premiership appearances, contributing to six Premiership titles in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2023.

As the most capped player in Saracens’ history, the adept fullback and fly-half has accrued over 339 appearances for the London club and is regarded as one of the most successful players in Premiership history.

Recent standout achievements include Goode’s 2023 Premiership performance, where his first kick of the season secured a match-winning score. His role as a fly-half was instrumental in organizing and leading the game.

Alex Waller – (267)

In at number 4 is Alex Waller, a Premiership legend known for holding the record for the most consecutive appearances in league history. His remarkable contributions to the Northampton Saints and the Gallagher Premiership will be remembered for years to come.

Since making his debut for the Saints in 2009, Waller has amassed an astonishing 267 Gallagher Premiership appearances.

He was a key player in the Saints’ 2014 Premiership title-winning team, scoring the unforgettable extra-time try that secured their only Premiership title. In 2019, he captained the Saints to victory in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Waller’s career spanned 15 incredible seasons in the Black, Green, and Gold. Having announced his retirement at the end of the 2023/24 season, his legacy as a stalwart of the Saints and a record-setting Premiership player is firmly cemented.

Mike Brown – (273)

Having devoted 16 remarkable years to the Harlequins senior squad since 2005, Mike Brown emerged as the club’s most capped player. But his journey didn’t end there…

He took on new challenges, first with the Newcastle Falcons for the 2021/22 season and then with the Leicester Tigers midway through the 2022/23 season, showcasing a wealth of experience and adaptability.

Brown’s impact on the Gallagher Premiership speaks volumes, with an impressive 273 appearances to his name, placing him among the league’s top ten players with the most caps. Additionally, his remarkable tally of 70 tries solidifies his position as one of the top 10 try scorers in Premiership Rugby history.

During his time with Harlequins, Brown played a pivotal role in securing a Premiership title and clinching victory in the European Challenge Cup, leaving an unforgettable mark as one of the club’s most distinguished players.

Danny Care – (276)

Claiming the second spot on the podium is none other than Danny Care.

Care has amassed an astonishing 276 Premiership appearance and 374 appearances for Harlequins since joining the club in 2006. Not only that, he’s the only player ever to score over 100 tries in Harlequins’ colours.

Among his many standout moments are his vital contributions to Harlequins’ Premiership title victories in 2012 and 2021.

In 2012, Care helped lead Harlequins to their best-ever season, capturing their first English championship. His unforgettable performance in the final against Leicester Tigers featured a bullet pass to Rob Shaw, who scored a decisive try, sealing a thrilling 30-23 victory.

Fast forward to 2021, and Care was instrumental once again, as Harlequins claimed the Premiership title in a heart-stopping 40-38 win, the highest-scoring Premiership final ever, on June 26.

To cap off his incredible season, Care was named “Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month” in March 2021, underscoring his exceptional impact on the game.

Richard Wigglesworth – (322)

The moment you’ve been waiting for! Sitting at number one for the most Gallagher Premiership appearances in history is the legendary Richard Wigglesworth.

As the reigning champion of Premiership appearances, Wigglesworth’s tenure in the Gallagher Premiership was adorned with countless honors, marking a remarkable journey that kicked off in 2002 with Sale Sharks.

In 2010, he made the pivotal transition to Saracens, where his influence on the field was undeniable, before making a notable move to Leicester Tigers for the 2020-21 Premiership Rugby season.

With a staggering 322 Premiership appearances under his belt, Wigglesworth clinched an impressive tally of seven Premiership titles—a single triumph with Sale Sharks, an impressive five with Saracens, and another with Leicester—solidifying his legacy as a true titan of the game.

Yet, his legacy extends far beyond the Premiership. Wigglesworth soared to greater heights with three European Rugby Champions Cups alongside Saracens, and his international career, spanning from 2008 to 2018, saw him earn 33 caps for England.

It’s no wonder his mark left on the game has been difficult to match!

Like what you see?

Let us know in the comments your thoughts on who you feel will be next to make it into the coveted Top 10 Gallagher Premiership appearances of all time!

We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, be sure to stay in the loop with the latest Rugby News, Boot Drops & Guides at The Full 80.

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The British and Irish Lions 2025 Tour Preview

The British and Irish Lions Tour to Australia is set to be an exciting spectacle in the world of rugby. With the tour dates and fixtures announced for 2025, and speculation about potential captains doing the rounds, fans are eagerly awaiting the action.

That’s where we come in! At The Full 80, we’ve got you covered with all the details on the Tour Dates, Fixtures, potential captains, and our top 3 players who we reckon will steal the show in 2025.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Skip To:

#1. What is the British & Irish Lions Tour?

#2. Tour Dates & Fixtures

#3. Candidates for Captaincy

#4. Our Top 3 Player Picks for 2025

What is the British & Irish Lions Tour all about?

Regarded as one of the most prestigious events in World Rugby, the British and Irish Lions Tour takes place every four years and consists of the best players eligible to represent England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

The tour takes a round-robin path through Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The Lions engage in a series of thrilling matches against the host nation’s teams, culminating in a riveting three-match test series that draws over 40,000 spectators from around the world.

But what’s the point?

The purpose is to not only foster sporting excellence and competition, but also to promote camaraderie and rervered love for the game amongst the rugby playing nations, presenting a unique opportuntiy for players from four different nations to come together as one team, representing the best of British & Irish rugby.

Now, as the tour marks its return to Australia after a 12-year hiatus, a burning question looms: Can the hosts rise to the occasion?

Time holds the answer to this suspense, but for now, onto the Tour Dates & Fixtures!

Tour Dates & Fixtures

In antcipation of the upcoming summer tour, the British & Irish Lions have released a nine-match schedule for the 2025 Tour to Australia. The eagerly awaited Test clashes will take place on 19 July, 26 July, and 2 August.

Optus Stadium, Burswood, Australia

Here’s a look at the full schedule:

  • 28 June: Lions vs Western Force, Perth (Optus Stadium)
  • 2 July: Lions vs Queensland Reds, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium)
  • 5 July: Lions vs NSW Waratahs, Sydney (Allianz Stadium)
  • 9 July: Lions vs ACT Brumbies, Canberra (GIO Stadium)
  • 12 July: Lions vs Invitational AU & NZ, Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
  • 19 July: 1st Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium)
  • 22 July: Lions vs Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne (Marvel Stadium)
  • 26 July: 2nd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Melbourne (Melbourne Cricket Ground/MCG)
  • 2 August: 3rd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Sydney (Accor Stadium)

The Lions will traverse Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney for the Test matches, initiating the tour in Perth against the Western Force before encountering other Australian Super Rugby Pacific sides.

Potential Candidates for Captaincy

Shifting focus to leadership, the race for the captaincy of the 2025 Lions team is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested in years. Several potential candidates have emerged:

  • James Ryan: The Leinster co-captain is the current frontrunner according to bookmakers. He boasts a track record of captaining every team he’s been a part of since his school days.
  • Maro Itoje: Recognized as one of Europe’s premier locks in recent seasons, Itoje showcased a return to his disruptive best during the World Cup.
  • Jac Morgan: A natural leader, Morgan demonstrated his captaincy prowess by co-leading Wales during the recent World Cup.

These individuals have showcased exceptional leadership qualities and are considered prime contenders to lead the Lions on the upcoming tour.

Our Top 3 Player Picks for 2025

Now we’ve selected our captains, it’s on to the players! After all, what would the Tour be without them?

Ben Earl (England)

A formidable force at the breakdown, possessing a remarkable ability to secure possession through turnovers and bolstered by his exceptional pace capable of piercing through defensive lines, Ben Earl stands as a beloved figure among fans, making a strong case for inclusion in the British & Irish Lions squad for 2025.

With an impressive track record of 165 appearances, totaling 9702 minutes played, 118 victories, and 230 points scored throughout his career, Earl emerges as a formidable contender.

In the recent 2024 season, Earl showcased his prowess by making 73 carries in the Six Nations, surpassing all other participants in the tournament.

Despite England finishing third, his stellar performance earned him accolades, being hailed as the tournament’s best player by former Scotland captain John Barclay and Wales captain Sam Warburton.

Furthermore, his contributions in the Premiership season were equally remarkable, featuring in 23 league matches, including 20 starts, and leading the Premiership’s tackle count with an impressive 331 tackles while notching up eight tries.

Acknowledged as an exceptional talent both at the club level with Saracens and on the international stage with the England squad, Earl’s chances of selection are promising.

Finn Russell (Scotland)

Finn Russell, a fly-half of unparalleled skill, has been a cornerstone of Scotland’s ascension in the 2024 Six Nations.

His strategic acumen and ability to unlock Scotland’s potential led to Duhan van der Merwe’s hat-trick against England, propelling Scotland to a 30-21 triumph. This victory marked the fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup win for Scotland, a feat not seen in 128 years.

With a career spanning 246 appearances as a Fly-Half, Russell has amassed an impressive tally of 382 points for Scotland and 118 for Bath Rugby. His conversion record is equally commendable, with 90 for Scotland and 29 for Bath Rugby.

Russell’s participation in the 2021 Lions Tour was a game-changer. Stepping in for an injured Dan Biggar, he injected pace into the game with his floated passes, moving the Lions into the outside channels where they aimed to attack. His style of play brought a refreshing change to the game, and we eagerly anticipate his future contributions.

Just like Ben Earl, Finn Russell stands as a beacon of talent and potential, making waves both at the club level with Bath Rugby and on the international stage with the Scotland squad. His selection prospects look promising, and his fans eagerly await his next move.

Dan Sheehan (Ireland)

At just 25 years old, Dan Sheehan has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the world of rugby. His impressive performances and achievements have made him a fan-favourite for the upcoming British & Irish Lions Tour for 2025.

As a hooker for Leinster and the Ireland national team, Sheehan has been instrumental in the team’s success. In 2023, he played a key role in helping Ireland secure their fourth ever Grand Slam in the Six Nations Championships.

His performance was particularly notable in the match against England, where he scored two tries and was awarded the player of the match.

Sheehan’s momentum didn’t stop there. In 2024, he continued to impress both fans and critics alike. He was a key player in Ireland’s bid for back-to-back Grand Slam titles in the Six Nations Championships. His contribution was significant in the wins over France and Italy, where he scored three tries.

His performance led him to become the leading try scorer after the first two rounds of the Six Nations. His exceptional skills and contribution to the sport were recognized when he was selected in the 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations Team of the Championship.

In the same year, Sheehan signed a two-year contract extension with Leinster and the Irish Rugby Football Union, solidifying his commitment to the sport and setting the stage for more impressive performances in the future.

Given his recent achievements and consistent performance, Dan Sheehan is undoubtedly a top pick for the upcoming British & Irish Lions Tour for 2025. His skills, determination, and contribution to the sport have certainly made him a player to watch out for.

Who’s in your Squad?

Let us know in the comments who you feel should make the cut for the British & Irish Lions Squad.

We’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, be sure to stay in the loop with the latest Rugby News, Guides & Boot Launches right here at The Full 80 – where rugby lives!

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Choosing the Right Rugby Boot for You

Rugby of any code is a dynamic sport, incorporating explosive athleticism, intricate footwork, jumping and kicking. In order to excel in these areas as a player, your boots must be a perfect fit.

So, without further ado, let’s find the right rugby boot for you!

Contents:

#1. Rugby Boots or Football Boots?

#2. Pick Your Playing Surface

#3. Know Your Playing Position

#4. Consider Fit & Comfort

#5. Choose Your Material

Rugby Boot selection featuring the latest Rugby Boots now available at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

What’s the difference between Rugby boots and Football boots?

A frequently asked question surrounding rugby boots concerns the differences with football boots. In the past, it was easy to distinguish between the two, as heavier rugby boots were much chunkier with a higher cut ankle.

Boots have evolved rather rapidly in recent years. Gone are the days of cumbersome cleats when most traditional rugby boots were a mid-top shape with ankle and tongue padding and tough toe support.

Contemporary rugby boots adhere more to football-style designs: they’re lighter with a lower cut, such as these adidas RS15 boots below.

adidas RS15 Adizero Pro Rugby Boots in the Solar Red Colourway. Available to purchase at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Brands nowadays produce different boots for backs and forwards. With an emphasis on speed and agility- backs’ boots owe their performance to finely developed sprint soleplates. Many backs elect to wear football boots with the same DNA, and this is not an issue. Modern forwards boots are sturdier with alternative stud setups.

Despite the manufacturer consensus on engineering forwards’ boots, many pro pack players prefer sleeker silhouettes, like those worn by backs.

When it comes to selecting the right rugby boots, it’s imperative to have an idea of some specific requirements relative to your playing position and on-field attributes. There are two key factors to bear in mind.

#1. Pick Your Playing Surface

Surface type plays a decisive role in which boots to buy. Wet and muddy conditions soften the surface, demanding maximum traction, so screw-in metal studs are a must.

Rugby Studs in silver. Available to purchase at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Playing on Natural Grass Surfaces

Natural grass pitches in the UK, Ireland and northern Europe are soft throughout most of the playing season, therefore require soft ground (SG) boots.

Mizuno Morelia MIJ Neo IV SG Boots Mens – NOW £249 (Was £309.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Playing on Firm-Ground Surfaces

Whereas firmer surfaces in warmer climates, such as the Southern Hemisphere nations, and artificial grass means firm ground (FG) boots should be worn.

Mizuno Morelia Made In Japan Neo IV FG Boots – NOW £240 (Was £299.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Depending on your playing position, you’ll need boots catering for certain needs.

#2. Know your Playing Position

Regardless of whether you’re just starting out, an enthusiastic amateur, or a seasoned pro, understanding how your playing position impacts your choice of boots is crucial.

If you’re taking your first steps into the game or simply need a quick recap, our Beginners Guide to Rugby is a must-read. It offers a comprehensive breakdown of the positions, helping you make an informed decision about your footwear!

Forwards (Nos 1-8)

For Forwards, perhaps the most imperative aspect when deciding which boot to buy is the soleplate and stud setup. Optimum grip is of paramount importance for maximum traction when scrummaging and mauling, therefore forwards boots generally have eight studs in a 6×2 formation such as the adidas Kakari Z. 1 SG boot below.

adidas Kakari Z.1 SG Rugby Boots' Soleplate

Having 6 studs at the front and 2 on the back provides the best traction. Check out our pick of the best rugby boots for Forwards!

Backs (Nos 9-15)

Backs often base their boot of choice on their preferred attribute; speed or kicking.

Speedy backs, wingers in particular, should be opting for the lightest rugby or football boots possible. It’s not like they need the protection of a forward’s boot from all the contact they avoid.

You can’t get much lighter than the all-new Puma Ultra Ultimate! Whilst they are football boots first and foremost, they are an excellent choice for the wide-footed rugby player who is looking to gain some serious speed on the pitch.

Weighing in at just 160 grams, you can’t go wrong sporting a pair of these silos!

Not to your liking? We’ve got you covered with the best rugby boots for backs!

Kick Specialists (Nos 9, 10 & 15)

Kick specialists (halfs and full backs) should look towards boots with added precision details in mind. adidas cater for kicking backs by supplying specialist boots with fine details engineered for ultimate kicking performance.

For instance, the latest Predator Malice features dotted rubber elements arranged across the upper to boost kicking accuracy.

adidas Predator Malice Soft Ground Boots Mens – £200 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

#3. Consider Fit & Comfort

Finding a rugby boot that fits you perfectly is crucial for your comfort and performance on the pitch. To ensure you find a proper fit we recommend considering the following:

Try different brands and models

 Each brand has its unique fit, so don’t limit yourself to just one. Experiment with different brands and models to find the one that suits your foot shape best.

Consider sizing

 Rugby boots should fit snugly but not excessively tight. Ensure that there is enough room for your toes to move freely and that the boot wraps around your foot without causing discomfort or unwanted pressure points on the mid or forefoot.

#4. Choose Your Material

Rugby boots are available in a wide variety of materials, each featuring different benefits. The most common materials consist of:

Leather

Leather rugby boots, particularly those made from Kangaroo Leather like the Mizuno MIJ Neo IV, are highly sought after. Their popularity stems from their exceptional comfort, mouldability, flexibility, and the unrivalled barefoot feel they provide when handling the ball.

However, as brands are becoming increasingly conscious about sustainability, particularly in relation to the sale of K-Leather, these leather boots are becoming harder to find.

Among the available options, our top recommendation is the Mizuno’s MIJ series. These boots, while excellent in quality, do come with a higher price tag.

For those seeking a more budget-friendly alternative, we suggest considering the adidas Copa Gloro. Priced under £100, these boots offer a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.

Synthetic

Rugby boots made from synthetic materials, like the Puma King Ultimate from the Puma Gear Up Pack, are known for their lightweight and durable nature. They often outperform leather boots in terms of water resistance. Additionally, these synthetic boots tend to be easier to clean and maintain compared to their leather counterparts.

Hybrid

Lastly, hybrid rugby boots such as the adidas RS15 Pro below, combine leather and synthetic materials to offer a blend of comfort, durability and performance.

Armed with this intel then, you can hopefully select your new wheels with confidence. With the biggest and best range of rugby boots, finding a pair at Lovell Rugby couldn’t be simpler.

Like what you see? Check out our latest Boot Launches and News here at The Full 80.

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Guides Kit and Gear

Rugby vs Football Boots -The Ultimate Guide

Skip to:

#1. What are Football Boots?

#2. What are Rugby Boots?

#3. The Difference Between Rugby & Football Boots

#4.The Similarities Between Rugby & Football Boots

Firstly, to understand the difference between Rugby Boots and Football Boots, we need to understand what makes a football boot, well… a football boot!

#1. What are Football Boots?

Originating in the 1800s, Football Boots were characteristically heavy and hard-wearing and often equipped with steel toe caps, long laces, metal studs and rigid ankle supports.

Fast forward to 2024, and football boots have come a long way since.

Now sporting more sophisticated boot technology and striking colourways, such as the adidas Predator 2024 below, the football boot has been modified countless times to accommodate various surfaces such as Firm and Soft-Ground surfaces that the game is played on.

adidas Predator Elite Laceless SG Adults Football Boots – NOW £185 (Was £229.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

When searching for the ideal pair of boots, players nowadays can choose between a wide variety of designs, soleplates, stud types, and boot materials.

Where traditional football boots would often be made of leather, modern innovation now prioritises a player’s attributes and comfort over rugged durability.

Next up, Rugby Boots.

#2. What are Rugby Boots?

Similarly to their Football Boot counterparts, Rugby Boots also originated in the 1800s. However, it was introduced to players with a high-cut profile that sits above the ankle to provide additional support.

adidas Adizero RS15 Pro SG Boots – NOW £175 (Was £219.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Rugby is notorious for being a high-octane sport that is more physically demanding than football, where players require high-cut boots to reduce ankle strain.

To the modern-day consumer, the Rugby Boot is, like the football boot, available in various shapes, sizes, stud configurations and colourways, with exceptional durability that will see players through to the full 80.

Traditionally made of leather, modern rugby boots share one thing in common-unparalleled durability.

#3. What are the Differences Between Rugby and Football Boots?

You’re probably wondering, if football boots and rugby boots both originated around the same time and used the same materials, what makes the modern boot different?

Boot Width

Characteristically wider than football boots, Rugby Boots are better tailored to the nature of the game. They provide players with better traction thanks to their enlarged surface area in the mid and forefoot.

As Rugby also requires you to kick the ball less frequently than in football, the Rugby Boot is engineered towards promoting better momentum on the pitch rather than pinpoint precision.

Football Boots however tend to be narrower in design as the game requires you to be light and nimble on your feet, to make intricate footwork a breeze.

Example: adidas Kakari Z.1

A modern classic, the adidas Kakari Z.1 was built for the wide-footed rugby player looking to take their game to the next level.

Featuring eight metal studs in a 6×2 formation, the Kakari Z.1 provides the perfect fit for Forwards looking to gain traction and deliver power on the pitch.

adidas Kakari Z.1 SG Boots – NOW £145 (Was £179.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

With unique stitching spanning across the toe box, the boot can stretch to accommodate wide-footed players for a durable and comfortable fit.

Couple this with the raised heel and get extra support when you need it most!

Boot Cut

The second most distinguishable feature to tell Rugby Boots and Football Boots apart- The boot cut.

Football Boots, such as the adidas Predator ’24 tend to be cut low around the ankle, whereas Rugby Boots offer a variety of options depending on which position you play on the pitch.

adidas Predator 24 Elite Soft Ground Football Boots – £220 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

For Forwards, High-Cut rugby boots such as the Canterbury Stampede Pro are the ideal pairing for players looking to generate more power in a scrum, ruck or maul, whilst providing exceptional comfort thanks to their high-cut configuration.

Canterbury Stampede Pro Soft Ground Rugby Boots -NOW £73 (Was £89.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Low-Cut Rugby Boots, such as the adidas RS15 below, on the other hand, are better suited to players positioned in the backs as speed, control and kicking power take greater precedence over muscularity.

adidas Adizero RS15 Pro SG Boots – NOW £175 (Was £219.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Heel

For Specialist Rugby Boots, the Heel is typically raised higher than in football boots.

The reason? A raised heel lip provides the wearer with an added area to apply pressure on a scrum, ruck or maul.

Thanks to its elevated form factor, the heel reduces pain in the lower limbs, helping players perform at their full potential for longer.

Example of a “Raised Heel” Design: adidas Predator Malice

As an excellent example of an industry-leading boot that incorporates a raised heel into its design, the adidas Predator Malice is the boot of choice for the more professional player who often finds themselves at the centre of a ruck, maul or scrum.

Not only this, but the raised heel provides dynamic foot positioning for improved acceleration and keeps you stable when it matters most.

adidas Predator Malice Soft Ground Boots – £200 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

#4. What are the similarities between Rugby and Football Boots?

Although football boots and rugby boots will have their differences, you might be surprised to learn that they have many similarities too!

Boot Material

Ever looked at a Rugby Boot and Football Boot side by side and thought they were made from similar materials? You thought right!

Commonly derived from synthetic material such as Polyurethane, sturdy calf Leather or sometimes a mix of the two for a more refined look and feel, football boots and rugby boots share more in common than some care to realise.

The one slight difference is that Kangaroo leather is more often used in rugby due to its durability and flexibility, the Mizuno MIJ range in particular being a good example of this.

Mizuno Morelia MIJ Neo IV SG Boots Mens – £310 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

However, recent concerns over the sale of K-Leather have caused boot manufacturers to look elsewhere.

Example of a “Modern” boot: Nike Mercurial Vapor Elite

The latest Nike Mercurial Vapor from the Mercurial Dreamspeed MDS008 Pack is a prime example of a boot that represents the modern-day genetic makeup of the majority of boots on the market.

Nike Mercurial Vapor Elite FG Football Boots – £260 at Lovell-rugby.co.ik

Formed of synthetic materials, the Vapor combines chevron mesh with an elasticated material known as ‘FlyKnit’ to promote a flexible and lightweight form factor that is highly popular among Rugby and Football players alike.

Soleplate

Where stud sizes can vary between Rugby and Football dependent on a player’s position, there are a variety of soleplates used across both sports that cater for different ground surfaces.

In both Rugby and Football, you will find Firm Ground (FG), Soft Ground (SG), Multi-Ground (MG) and Artificial Grass (AG) soleplate options.

But whilst this is helpful to know, you’re probably wondering: “What’s the difference?”

To break it down, FG boots are engineered for use on dry, natural grass pitches, SG for damp/muddier pitches, AG for 3G/4G ground surfaces and Multi-Ground for use across both artificial and natural grass pitches.

Example: Puma Future Ultimate Football Boots

A popular boot of choice for Rugby and Football players alike, the Puma Future 7 Ultimate is available in both Soft and Firm Ground configurations.

Soft-Ground (SG) Puma Future 7 Ultimate
Firm-Ground (FG) Puma Future 7 Ultimate

With Puma’s signature PWRTAPE and dedicated Speed Cage for enhanced lockdown and flexibility, it’s no wonder the Future Ultimate is Puma’s most successful silo.

Studs

Despite subtle differences in the shape of studs available across both Rugby and Football Boots, the two boot types have more in common than you might think.

As the laws of the game instruct players to wear studs that do not exceed 21mm in length, they share features in common and are made of metal, plastic or rubber.

With modern boots now breaking from tradition, football and rugby boots often house more than 10 studs, which feature a mix of Metal, Plastic and Rubber.

Example: Mizuno Morelia Neo 3 MIJ

The Mizuno Morelia Neo 3 is a prime example of how boots have changed over time. Housing 12 studs, 6 metal and 6 plastic, the Morelia can dig deep into soft-ground surfaces for optimal traction, whether in the scrum, ruck, maul or accelerating towards the opponent’s Try Line.

Mizuno Made In Japan Neo IV Soft Ground Football Boots Adults – NOW £205 (Was £299.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Can I Wear Football Boots for Rugby?

As stated by the game laws, you can wear football boots for Rugby matches, as long as the boot features the correct studs.

If you dabble in both sports and play with screw-in studs, you may need to switch studs between each sport dependent on the ref’s discretion.

For boots with studs fixed to the soleplate of the boot, you must check with the laws of the game for the level you play at.

While it’s legal to wear the same boots across both sports, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

If you play as a Back or Centre in Rugby, Football Boots are an excellent choice. This is because they offer the most effective balance between speed and agility for quick starts and strong kicks.

However, if you’re a Forward, Rugby Boots may be better suited for you, as they offer better protection and stability within scrums, rucks and mauls while delivering power.

Still Unsure? Oli Breaks it down further!

Which boots do you use most in rugby? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you! In the meantime, be sure to stay in the loop with the latest Rugby News, Boot Launches and Guides right here at The Full 80.

Categories
Guides New

Rugby 101: The Beginners Guide to Rugby

Welcome to the adrenaline-fueled world of rugby! This is a sport that will have you on the edge of your seat, heart pounding, as you watch two teams battle it out on the field. New to the game? Don’t sweat it! We’ve got you covered.

At The Full 80, we’ve taken the initiative to simplify your introduction to the game. We’ve consolidated the rules and the mechanics of the game in one convenient location, saving you the trouble of searching elsewhere!

So, let’s get to it!

Skip To:

#1. The Objective of Rugby

#2. Understanding Player Positions

#3. Getting to Grips with the Rules

#4. Rugby Points & Scoring Explained

#5. How Fouls and Penalties are Calculated in Rugby

#6. The Referee’s Word is Final!

#7. Ensuring You’re Well Equipped for the Game

#1. What is the objective of rugby?

In the simplest terms, rugby is a strategic battle where two teams vie to outscore each other within a span of 80 intense minutes. The team with the most points at the final whistle takes home the glory, but remember, games can also end in a nail-biting draw.

The clock is relentless, divided into two halves of 40 minutes each, with a brief 10-minute respite for half-time. Unlike football, there’s no added time for stoppages – when the clock hits 80, the game is over, no exceptions.

Each team fields 15 warriors, with up to 7 substitutes waiting in the wings. Once a player leaves the field, they can only return if they were taken off for injury treatment.

Rugby is a game of grit and determination, with no room for theatrics or time-wasting. It’s all about what happens in those 80 minutes of pure, unadulterated action.

#2. What are the player positions in Rugby?

A rugby team is a well-oiled machine, made up of 15 players, each with a specific role to play.

The team is split into two groups – the Forwards and the Backs.

Forwards, wearing jerseys numbered 1 to 8, are the powerhouses of the team. They’re typically larger, stronger, and might not be the fastest, but they’re the ones doing the heavy lifting – tackling, rucking, and hitting.

Backs, donning jerseys 9 to 15, are usually smaller and more athletic than their forward counterparts. They’re the playmakers, responsible for creating offensive opportunities and preventing defensive breaches. Their game is all about speed, agility, and a deep strategic understanding of rugby.

With us so far?

Good, as things are about to get a little more complicated if you’re new to the game.

Of the 15 players, there are 8 Forwards split up into the positions of:

  • Prop (#1, #3)- Provides stability in the scrum whilst supporting the hooker to help win the team the ball. Also responsible for supporting the jumper in the Line Out.
  • Hooker (#2)- Responsible for “hooking” the ball and obtaining possession of it during a Scrum (More on this later).
  • Second Row (#4, #5)- Players who relish contact and responsible for helping to win the ball at Lineouts, whilst helping to lock the scrum into position.
  • Flanker (#6, #7)- One of the most important roles in the game. Responsible for securing and maintaining possession of the ball, usually following rucks and Mauls. Also assists in pushing the scrum.
  • Number 8 (#8) – Executes big tackles against the opposition, whilst responsible for carrying the ball through the defensive line and provide essential support to the backs.
Credit: sixnationsrugby

Whilst the second split is formed of 7 players known as ‘Backs‘. These are split up into the positions of:

  • Scrum Half (#9) – An essential link between the Forwards and Backs & a player responsible for making on-the-spot decisions to help link play, execute key passes and kick accurately.
  • Fly Half (#10)- Usually fed the ball by fellow Half-Back and Scrum-Half players. They direct and orchestrate the attack and defence of the other backs. Runs, kicks and passes made by the Fly Half are used to initiate attacks by other backs.
  • Wingers (#11, #14) – Powerful and fast, wingers are responsible for evading the defenders of the opposing team, chasing down drop kicks , and performing tackles so as to prevent the opposing team from scoring a try.
  • Inside Centre (#12) – Responsible for finding and creating spaces when attacking so as to dominate the gain line. Fundamental in carrying the ball, winning collisions and for picking up crucial yards in gameplay.
  • Outside Centre (#13)- Powerful and quick, they break through the oppositions defenses and create space for players outside of them, whilst working closely with the Inside Centre to co-ordinate attacks.
  • Full Back (#15)- Known as the last line of defence, they tackle the opposition and collect the ball from any unsuspecting kicks that make their way past their teammates’ defensive line.

#3. What are the Rules of Rugby?

Everyone is Equal

In the thrilling world of Rugby, everyone is on an equal footing. Each player, regardless of their position, has the opportunity to run with the ball and face the challenge of tackles. This is a stark contrast to American Gridiron football, where only a select few get the chance to make a run for glory.

Did you know? On average, each player makes around 20 runs and tackles per game!

The Art of Ball Movement

Every pass is a strategic move. The ball must always be pitched backwards to your teammates – no forward passes allowed. Beware, even an accidental forward drop or nudge can result in a penalty, typically leading to a scrum (more on this later).

But remember, you can pass the ball among your team as much as you want!

No Room for Obstruction

There’s no place for obstruction. Players cannot assist their teammates by blocking off opponents. If you’re caught doing so, you’ll be penalised with a kick offense.

This rule is particularly important during Rucks and Mauls, where players from both teams are closely engaged in a contest for the ball.

But what are Rucks & Mauls?

Rucks: A ruck occurs when one or more players from each team come together over the ball on the ground, usually following a tackle. Players on their feet must bind onto the ball and each other, attempting to secure possession for their team. The ruck ends when the ball emerges from the back of the ruck or when a penalty is awarded.

Mauls: On the other hand, a maul arises when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and their teammates bind onto them, creating a forward-driving contest. The ball remains off the ground, held up by the players’ bodies. The objective is for the team in possession to drive forward while protecting the ball, with their teammates pushing them from behind.

Both rucks and mauls are pivotal moments in the game, where teams vie for possession and territory, often requiring physical strength and strategic prowess.

The Power of Scrums & Lineouts

Scrums: A scrum is a key part of Rugby, where players from both teams bind together and compete for the ball. It usually occurs after certain infractions or stoppages. In a scrum, the forwards from each team bind together and push against the opposing team to gain possession of the ball. The scrum-half of the non-offending team feeds the ball into the scrum, and the battle for possession begins!

Lineouts: When the ball goes out of bounds, a lineout is awarded to the non-offending team. Players from both teams line up perpendicular to the touchline, and a teammate throws the ball into the air. Players are lifted to catch the ball, and the team that wins possession often gets the chance to launch an attacking move.

The Discipline of Yellow & Red Cards

In Rugby, discipline is enforced through yellow and red cards. A serious infraction or repeated rule violations can earn a player a yellow card, leading to a temporary suspension, typically for 10 minutes. A red card, however, results in the player being sent off for the rest of the match.

Dangerous tackles, foul play, or dissent towards the referee’s decisions are common reasons for receiving cards.

The Skill of Tackling & Referee Signals

Tackling:

Tackling is more than just a skill – it’s an art. But remember, it’s an art that must be practiced safely and within the rules. Players aim to wrap their arms around the ball carrier, bringing them down in a safe yet effective manner.

High tackles and dangerous tackles are strictly off-limits and can lead to penalties or even disciplinary action. So, play hard, but play fair!

Decoding Referee Signals:

Referees are the conductors of the rugby symphony, using a variety of signals to communicate with players and spectators. These signals are your key to understanding the game’s decisions and following the game effectively.

So, keep your eyes on the referee and learn to interpret these signals! It’s like learning a new language – the language of Rugby! 

#4. How does scoring in Rugby work?

Forget what you know about football, 1 touch to the try line, or a boot of the ball over the H post doesn’t equate to 1 score point..

No, there are actually numerous ways in which to score points:

  • Penalty Kick – Awarded in the event of foul play to the opposing team and worth 3 points if successful. The rugby ball is placed on a kicking tee where the appointed kicker must kick the ball between the goal posts and over the crossbar.
  • Drop Goal – Performed by the player dropping the ball and then kicking it as it hits the ground over the crossbar and between the goal posts. To qualify the ball must not touch the ground again before it makes the goal posts. Touching the crossbar or posts is permitted. Like the penalty kick, this is also worth 3 points.
  • Try – Worth 5 points, in order to score a Try, players must place the ball on or behind the oppositions Try-line which is located on the line of the goal posts.
  • Conversion– This is when a free kick is awarded after a team score a Try. With the possibility of gaining an extra 2 points (7 total), the player must kick the ball between the goal posts and over the crossbar (the same as if taking a penalty kick).
  • Penalty Try: In cases where a player would likely have scored a try but for foul play by the opposing team, a penalty try is awarded. It is worth 7 points and is placed under the posts, with no conversion required.

#5. How are Fouls and Penalties calculated in Rugby?

In Rugby, fouls and penalties are calculated in accordance with the rules of the game and consist of the following:

Rugby Infringement

This refers to a term used in rugby that is used to describe any moment in the game when a player is seen to break the rules.

It can be for a number of many different reasons such as:

#1. Being Offside– A player is considered to be offside if they are further forward (nearer to the opponents’ goal line) than the teammate who is carrying the ball or the temmate who last played the ball.

#2. Advantage Rule – The advantage rule allows the game to continue when an infringement occurs. If the non-offending team gains territory or a try-scoring chance, the game continues. If not, play is called back.

#3. Punching – If a player punches or strikes another player with their hand, arm, elbow or shoulder.

#4. Collapsing a Maul– Players involved in a maul must have their heads/shoulders no lower than their hips and must have at least one armour bound to a team-mate. Failing this, the team not in possession of the ball cannot deliberately collpase the maul.

Penalties & Free Kicks

In order to restart the game after an infringement has been made, the referee awards a penalty or a free kick towards the team that the infrigement has been made against.

George Ford gearing up for a penalty against Argentina at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The Seriousness of Penalties

In the world of rugby, penalties are not taken lightly. They are often awarded when players fail to release the ball on the ground, do not move away from the tackler, collapse mauls, or are caught offside.

The penalty can be taken in several ways:

  • Kicked to touch, with the kicking team throwing the ball into the lineout.
  • Used to attempt to score three points by place-kicking the ball through the posts.
  • Taken quickly with a quick tap to restart the game.
  • Converted into a scrum at the Captain’s request.

Remember, penalties are reserved for more serious offences, such as violent conduct, professional fouls, and deliberate knock-ons. If a player chooses to kick for the goalposts, they will be awarded three points if the ball is successfully kicked over the crossbar and between the posts.

The Subtelties of Free Kicks

Free kicks in rugby work slightly differently. They cannot be kicked directly into touch and cannot be place kicked for goal. Instead, a player must tap the ball with their foot, which instantly restarts the game.

Note that free kicks are typically reserved for more minor infringements such as wasting time in a scrum or having the wrong number of players. So, while they may seem less severe, they still play a crucial role in maintaining the flow and fairness of the game.

In the end, whether it’s a penalty or a free kick, every decision in rugby carries weight and contributes to the overall strategy and outcome of the game. So, play wisely and respect the rules!

Why are Penalties & Free-Kicks so important in rugby?

Conceding penalties and free-kicks through either ill-discipline or through pressures from the opposition can be a major deciding factor in the outcome of rugby matches.

If you’ve had your eyes on the recent 2024 Six Nations Championship, then you’ll likely have seen this be the case with Italy’s Paolo Garbisi, where he failed to lead his team into victory after a failed penalty attempt against France.

Check it out for yourself!

Injuries and substitutions:

Rugby is a physically demanding sport, and injuries are not uncommon…

When a player is injured and needs to leave the field, they can be replaced by one of the substitute players waiting on the sidelines. Each team is typically allowed a certain number of substitutions per match, and temporary substitutions may be allowed for blood injuries.

These replacements ensure that teams can maintain their competitive edge even in the face of injuries.

#6. Referee’s Authority

It may be self explanatory for some, but for those who are new to the game, it’s important to note that the referee’s decisions are final and must be respected by the players and coaches.

Disputing or showing dissent towards the referee’s decisions can result in penalties or disciplinary action.

#7. What Equipment am I allowed to Use for Rugby?

While rugby is known for its physicality, players are required to wear certain equipment for safety. The most essential piece of equipment is the rugby ball itself, but players also wear specialized footwear designed for the conditions of the playing surface.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Equipment-Landscape-Thumbnail.jpg

Additionally, while not mandatory, many players choose to wear protective gear such as mouthguards and headgear to reduce the risk of injury during play. These pieces of equipment help ensure that players can compete safely and confidently on the field.

Categories
Guides

The Best Rugby Boots for Forwards

In the heart of the rugby battlefield, there exist warriors known as the forwards. Their tasks – mauling, rucking, scrummaging – are the pillars of victory.

They may not bask in the limelight, but their relentless determination shapes the game. And to honor these warriors, we’ve hand-picked the best rugby boots, designed to enhance their hard graft on the pitch. Because every hero deserves the right gear.

Skip To:

#1. Premium Rugby Boots

#2. Pro Rugby Boots

#3. Boots on a Budget

The Evolution of Forward’s Boots

In the early 1900s, players ingeniously repurposed their everyday walking or work boots, adding studs or bars for that much-needed grip on the field. These boots weren’t just footwear, they were a testament to the players’ resourcefulness and passion for the game!

These early versions of rugby boots were characterized by their robust shape, sturdy construction of thick leather and metal, and additional support for the ankle and toe. The soles were solid, studded with musket bullets that served as studs. These features were not just for show – they were specifically designed with the forwards’ game in mind.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll see how far we’ve come. The transformation from these basic adaptations to today’s specialized rugby boots is nothing short of remarkable. It’s not just about the game anymore, it’s about making a statement on the pitch!

The evolution of rugby boots is a testament to the progress made in the sport, reflecting not only advancements in the game but also in technology and design. So, whether you’re charging down the field or holding the line in a scrum, remember, your boots are more than just footwear – they’re a part of rugby’s rich history!

Playing in the UK?

For optimal performance during the typically wet rugby season, we recommend investing in Soft Ground Boots (SG). These boots are designed to provide excellent traction and stability on soft, muddy fields.

For individuals living in temperate climates where the natural pitches tend to be firmer, Firm Ground boots(FG) are the preferred choice. These boots are designed to provide the right balance of grip and maneuverability on hard, natural surfaces.

However, if you frequently play on artificial turf or reside in a region with a temperate climate, Artificial Ground (AG) boots would be the ideal choice. They are specifically designed for synthetic surfaces. But if AG boots are not available, Firm Ground (FG) rugby/football boots can serve as a suitable alternative.

Premium Boots

Nike Phantom GX 2 Elite

For all you forward rugby players out there, if you’re on the hunt for the crème de la crème of boots, look no further than the Nike Phantom GX 2 Elite Rugby Boots! These boots are not just a piece of footwear, they’re a statement on the pitch!

The standout feature of this boot is undoubtedly the Anti-Clog soleplate. This flexible open arch chassis is a game-changer, providing unparalleled stability and support. But that’s not all! The Elite model is a dream come true for highly competitive players. It features the full soleplate works, taking your game to the next level.

The advanced textures, such as Nike’s latest GripKnit technology, ensure maximum grip on the ball. So, whether you’re making a break for the try line or securing possession in a scrum, these boots have got you covered!

And let’s not forget the snazzy 13 stud setup. This isn’t just for show – it’s designed for dynamic lateral agility. So you can weave through the opposition with the grace of a gazelle and the speed of a cheetah. Now that’s what we call playing in style!

But wait, there’s more! The Nike Phantom GX 2 Elite Rugby Boots are also known for their exceptional durability and comfort. The high-quality materials and superior craftsmanship ensure these boots can withstand the rigors of the game, while the cushioned insole and padded ankle support provide all-day comfort.

So, if you’re a forward looking to dominate the game, the Nike Phantom GX 2 Elite Rugby Boots are the perfect fit for you! Lace up and get ready to make your mark on the pitch!

Puma Future

A lightweight boot, suitable for players of any position, but ideal for second and back rows. Forwards will appreciate the snug, sock-like fit from a high-cut knit collar, supporting the ankles.

There’s an array of elaborate designs to choose from, and they all look impeccable.

Adidas Kakari Z.1

The rugby boot blueprint. The standard for which every premium boot aims for, adidas’ formidable Kakari packs all the tech we’ve come to expect from the German brand’s dedicated rugby wing.

adidas Kakari Z.1 SG Boots – £180 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Favouring tough synthetic upper over leather, the long-running and now-lightweight Kakari sits on a flexible soleplate housing hollow metal studs

adidas Kakari Z.1 SG Boots – £180 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Whichever boot you end up going for, if it’s any of the aforementioned – your feet and your teammates will be thankful as your game goes up a level. Take the time to research the best boot for you, invest in a pair of proper weapons and prove your point on the pitch.

Mizuno Morelia Neo IV Elite

Introducing the Mizuno Neo IV Elite, the boot that’s taking the rugby world by storm!

Boost your techniques with these Mizuno Morelia Neo IV Elite SG Football Boots, specially engineered to provide a barefoot feeling with numerous improvements.

Crafted from real K-Leather, these boots offer a unique blend of a barefoot sensation and robust durability, ensuring they withstand the demands of the game as you strive to achieve your best speeds ever. The choice of K-Leather boots speaks volumes about the performance and reliability they bring to the field.

The Mizuno Neo IV Elite boasts a lightweight and streamlined design, drawing inspiration from the acclaimed MIJ Neo III Beta. As the fourth generation in the Neo series, these boots continue the legacy of delivering unparalleled speed and comfort in a premium form factor. Since its debut in 2011, the Neo series has consistently pushed the boundaries of football boot technology.

With its nifty design, the Neo IV Elite emerges as a strong contender for the footwear of choice for forwards at the Six Nations Championship. The combination of barefoot feeling, durability, and the streamlined design makes these boots an ideal companion for players seeking top-notch performance on the field. Step into the future of football footwear with Mizuno’s Neo IV Elite and experience the evolution of speed, comfort, and style.

Pro Boots

Puma Avant Pro

Get ready to be blown away by a phenomenal pair of rugby-specific boots, custom-made for games on soft ground. Puma has hit the bullseye with these gems, perfecting the mid-range forward’s boot like never before!

Puma Avant Pro 8 Stud Boots – NOW £105 (Was £129.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

They’re technically excellent with tough synthetic leather on the forefoot and heel areas, while Matryxmesh technology straddles the midfoot and a 10 metal and 1 moulded stud plate maximises traction.

Aesthetically on point, the stylistically understated silo is composed of an all-black upper and contrasted with the light grey soleplate slicing the bottom of the boot.   

Puma Avant Pro 8 Stud Boots – NOW £105 (Was £129.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Canterbury Phoenix Elite

Crafted from ultra-hard-wearing materials that can withstand the rigours of modern rugby, the Canterbury Phoenix Genesis Elite is the perfect pairing for rugby Forwards.

Canterbury Phoenix Elite Rugby Boots - Available at Lovell Rugby
Canterbury Phoenix Elite SG Boots – £140 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

The forefoot combines supple premium leather with a knitted upper reinforced with Vaposkin – a fancy and tough new textile. What sets the Phoneix Gen apart is the all-new lightweight 6-studded outsole which uses biobased, Pebax® Powered composite materials for ultimate flex, traction and responsiveness.  

The Canterbury Phoenix Elite Rugby Boots - Now Available at Lovell Rugby
Canterbury Phoenix Elite SG Boots – £140 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Budget Friendly Boots

Kooga Power

You can’t go wrong with this pair of blackout boots by rugby specialists KooGa. Forged from authentic thick leather, these padded boots are ideal for any forward playing at any level.

Players can enjoy a comfy, true to size fit that accommodate wider feet for stability and mobility. Even at their retail price, we think they offer the best value for money of any forward’s boot. Right now, they’re an absolute steal at half price. 

Found the right boot for you?

Like what you see, but haven’t quite found the right boot for you? Explore brands from Nike, adidas, Kooga, Puma, Canterbury and more at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

  In the meantime, be sure to stay in the loop with the latest Boot Drops, News & Guides right here at The Full 80. You won’t want to miss this!

Categories
Guides New

The Definitive Guide to Women’s Rugby Boots

Exciting times ahead at The Full 80! We’re all set to revolutionize 2024 with our updated selection of premium women’s rugby boots. But that’s not all! We’re also here to share our expert insights on securing that elusive perfect fit.

With a broad array of brands and a range of price points to suit every budget, we’re certain there’s a pair of boots out there with your name on it. So, gear up, rugby enthusiasts – your perfect match awaits!

Skip To:

#1. Women’s Impact on Rugby in 2024

#2. Recognising the Need for a “Women’s Fit” in Sports

#3. What’s the Difference Between Men’s & Women’s Rugby Boots?

#4. Top Tips for Finding the Right Fit for You!

#5. Our Pick of the Top 5 Best Rugby Boots for Women

Reflecting on Women’s Impact on Rugby in 2024

In the same vein as its humble beginnings in 1962, when societal attitudes towards women’s roles began to shift post-World War II, Women’s Rugby has continued to leave an indelible mark on the world of sports.

The first-ever recorded Women’s Rugby Union match at Edinburgh University and the inaugural fully documented Women’s Club match at Toulouse Femina Sports in France were pivotal moments that year.

Fast forward to 2024, and Women’s Rugby is not just participating in the global sports conversation – it’s leading it.

The sport has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity and participation. Women’s rugby is now played in more countries than ever, with international tournaments attracting large audiences and media attention.

Approximately 40,000 women in the UK participate in the sport annually, and interest in Women’s Rugby is at an all-time high.

The RFU’s commitment to reaching 100,000 female players by 2027 further underscores the sport’s expansion. The changes to the girls’ player pathway from the 2024-25 season are expected to nurture talent and contribute to the sport’s future success.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 13: Adita Milinia of the Fijian Drua is tackled by Samantha Treherne of the Rebels during the round five Super Rugby Women’s match between Melbourne Rebels and Fijian Drua at AAMI Park on April 13, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

The Women’s Six Nations 2024 was a testament to this growth, with teams showcasing their skills in front of record crowds. The increasing professionalism, competitive matches, and the passion of the players are inspiring a new generation of female athletes.

Indeed, the world of Women’s Rugby is more vibrant and exciting than ever before.

Extending The Recognition to Sports Brands

Women’s rugby has truly transformed the game, and it’s high time that industry-leading sports brands took notice! They’re finally stepping up and rolling out boots designed specifically for women, acknowledging that “one size” certainly doesn’t fit all.

We’ve witnessed Nike stepping into the arena with their Phantom Luna, designed to accommodate the unique fit of women. Puma has followed suit with their “women’s fit” Future silo, and Under Armour has introduced their Shadow Elite and Magnetico Boots. Progress is being made, but is it enough?

We believe there’s still a long journey ahead. We understand that you shouldn’t be denied access to premium boots just because they’ve been primarily designed for men. So, we’ve compiled some top tips to ensure that you can comfortably fit into men’s boots.

Curious about how? Stay tuned!

What’s the difference between Men’s & Women’s Rugby Boots?

At first glance, they might seem identical. They look the same, feel the same, and even use the same materials. It’s no surprise that players are left scratching their heads. But the secret lies in one crucial detail – the Boot Width.

Women’s Rugby Boots are primarily crafted to accommodate a narrower foot, while Men’s football boots are designed with a wider foot in mind.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the blueprints differ that you can’t fit snugly into a men’s boot if you need to!

Find your Fit with Men’s Sizing!

Okay, we know it’s not ideal, and there should be more boots out there that accomodate a women’s fit, but until then, we’ve got a little workaround for you!

#1. Men’s Boots  🤝 Women’s Sizing

To Break it Down:

Here’s a handy tip for you: When transitioning from women’s shoe sizes to men’s, the process is quite straightforward. Simply subtract 1.5 from your current women’s shoe size, and voila! You’ve found your equivalent fit in men’s sizing

Example:

Suppose you’re comfortable in a size 9 in women’s shoes. In that case, you’d likely find your perfect fit in a size 7.5 in men’s shoes.

Are you keeping up with us? Fantastic! 

#2. Consider the Material

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of how to adjust the sizing, it’s crucial to understand the type of material you’re planning to lace up.

Take Leather Rugby Boots, for instance, the latest Mizuno Morelia MIJ Neo IV. These boots employ K-Leather in their construction, which tends to stretch more than their synthetic counterparts.

So, if you initially feel a bit of tightness, don’t worry! Over time, the boot will mould to the shape of your foot, enhancing comfort.

On the flip side, Synthetic Rugby Boots, like the Nike Phantom GX II, have minimal stretch. They maintain their shape and provide a consistent fit throughout their lifespan. So, if you’re opting for synthetic boots, ensure they feel comfortable from the get-go, as they won’t stretch much over time.

Understanding your personal preference is the key to unlocking the perfect fit.

Whether you’re drawn to the adaptability of Leather Boots or the unyielding nature of Synthetic Boots, identifying what suits you best will guide you on your journey to finding the most optimal fit.

Remember, the right boot is the one that feels like an extension of you on the field.

#3. Check the Stud Pattern

Next on the list is considering the surface you play on – be it grass, artificial grass, or indoors. The type of surface can significantly influence the comfort and fit of your boots due to the stud pattern.

Soft-Ground (SG) Rugby Boots, featuring moulded studs, are your go-to choice if you frequently play on soft surfaces like wet, natural grass. You’ll often spot these boots in professional matches.

Firm-Ground (FG) Rugby Boots are your allies for firm, dry surfaces such as natural grass that’s free from rainfall or water-logging.

If you’ve been following the Women’s Six Nations closely, you’ll notice this is the ground type they’ve been using recently.

Lastly, Artificial-Ground (AG) Rugby Boots are specifically crafted for use on artificial turf or 3G/4G pitches.

Remember, the right boot can make all the difference in your game! 

#4. Don’t Forget the Socks!

Often overlooked but absolutely vital for players aiming to perfect the feel and fit of their boots – let’s talk about socks!

Sure, your traditional Rugby Socks will likely do the job, but if you find your foot slipping inside your boots, it might be time to try Grip Socks!

Rugby is a high-energy sport, whether you’re packing into a scrum, leaping for a line-out, or executing a precision side-step to outmaneuver your opponents. The last thing you want is to lose your footing when you’re in the heat of the action.

So, why not give Grip Socks a try and ensure your feet stay firmly planted in your boots, no matter how intense the game gets? After all, in the world of rugby, every little advantage counts!

Our Pick of the Top 5 Best Rugby Boots for Women!

Now that we’ve had a look into how to enhance the fit and feel of your Rugby Boots, we’ve curated a collection of our top 5 best rugby boots to have you performing at your very best!

Let’s get to it.

#1. adidas Adizero RS15 Pro

This boot is a crowd favourite, and you’ve likely spotted it stealing the limelight at the Women’s 2024 Six Nations.

Setting the benchmark for Elite Rugby Boots globally, the RS15 Pro is an extraordinary pick for players eager to outshine their competition.

Brimming with innovative tech, from adi’s “Rigid Stability Wing” in the heel that aids in minimizing injury risk as you twist and turn, to its iconic Speedframe Outsole for optimal energy retention, this boot is swiftly rising to the top as the MVP of the rugby world.

adidas Adizero RS15 Pro SG Boots – NOW £175 (Was £219.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Don’t believe us? Check it out the RS15 for yourself!

Sizing up in the RS15 Pro:

The RS15 Pro tends to run small, so we recommend that for Women’s sizing, you deviate from the -1.5 downsize rule, and only size down by -1 with this boot.

So, if you’re a Size 7, make sure to snag yourself a Size 6!

#2. adidas X Crazyfast

Packed full of innovative tech from a Carbon Fibre Speedframe that helps deliver optimal traction to an Agility Speed Cage that provides additional support and stability for a snug fit, the X Crazyfast is the speedsters dream!

For a lightweight boot that doesn’t compromise on performance, you can’t go wrong with having the X Crazyfast in your arsenal!

Sizing up in the adidas X Crazyfast

Unlike the RS15 Pro, the X Crazyfast Elite is true to size and so we recommend you follow the general rule of thumb and size down -1.5.

So, if you’re a Size 7.5, opt for a 6!

#3. Nike Tiempo Legend 10

Adorned for its versatility on the pitch, the Nike Tiempo Legend 10 is a staple for Fly-Halves looking to bolster their kicking game.

Crafted from Nike’s innovative “Fly Touch Plus” technology that mimics the properties of real leather, the Tiempo 10 Elite offers a natural fit for unrivalled comfort.

Complete with Nike’s signature “Anti-Clog” tech found on the soleplate, never again be caught stuck in the mud as your rivals race past you!

Nike Tiempo Legend 10 Elite SG Pro Anti-Clog Soft Ground Boots – NOW £185 (Was £234.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Available in Pro, Academy and Club versions to suit all budgets, the Nike Tiempo 10 is an excellent choice, no matter your entry level.

Sizing up in the Nike Tiempo Legend 10

Here at The Full 80, we find the Nike Tiempo 10 is true-to-size and so recommend the general rule of thumb to size down (-1.5).

So, you know what it’s about! If you’re a size 7.5, opt for a size 6!

#4. Mizuno Morelia MIJ Neo IV

If you’re no stranger to rugby, then you’ll be aware of Mizuno’s presence within the rugby world, particularly due to their sheer quality and use of premium K-Leather material that offers a barefoot sensation and robust durability that is more than capable of withstanding the rigours of the game.

Hand crafted in Japan, the “MIJ Neo IV” is the pick of the bunch, however even with their entry-level boots, such as the Mizuno Monarcida, they are of exceptional quality.

Mizuno Morelia MIJ Neo IV SG Boots Mens – NOW £249 (Was £309.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Sizing up the Mizuno Morelia MIJ Neo IV

Traditionally wider than your average boot due to the Japanese foot being wider than your average Europeans, we’d recommend these for the wider footed.

If that’s you, then you know what to do! Downsize -1.5 from your usual in a men’s fitting!

#5. Mercurial Superfly

Stepping into the spotlight next, we present the crowd-favorite Mercurial Superfly – a boot that wingers swear by, brimming with features to boost your speed and keep you at the top of your game!

The Mercurial Vapor, a tried and tested companion, comes equipped with a 3/4 Air Zoom unit. This feature is engineered to optimize energy return in the mid and forefoot areas, enhancing your efficiency on the field.

But that’s not all! The boot also boasts a Vaporposite + chevron mesh upper, ensuring that every contact with the ball is precise and controlled. Time and again, the Mercurial Vapor has proven its worth on the field.

So, if you’re aiming to keep your opponents guessing and aspire to be a sensation on the field, scoring tries left and right, then look no further!

Sizing up in the Mercurial Superfly

Need we even say it? That’s right, as these boots have been tailored towards Men’s sizing, we recommend you go down 1.5 sizes from your usual!

Like what you see?

Let us know in the comments which boot you’ll be bringing to the pitch! Perhaps you have a favourite of your own? We’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, if you’re after a wide selection of Rugby Boots at unbeatble prices, be sure to check out Lovell Rugby to find the right boot for you!

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The Best Rugby Boots for Backs 2024

Skip To:

#1. Nike Tiempo Legend

#2. Canterbury Speed Infinite

#3.Adizero RS15

#4. adidas Predator Malice

#5 .Mizuno Morelia Neo IV

#1. Nike Tiempo Legend 10

Get ready to step into the realm of legends with the Tiempo 10, the elite football boot designed to elevate your performance on the field.

These boots are the ultimate game-changer, boasting cutting-edge FlyTouch Plus engineered leather that surpasses natural leather in softness and delivers a perfect fit for an unrivalled feel.

ACC Technology: Your Weather Warrior

Rain or shine, the Tiempo 10 has got your back. With its All Conditions Control technology, these boots ensure a steadfast grip that allows you to dictate the game’s pace with confidence. But hey, it’s not just about control. These boots are built for speed and agility too.

Nike Tiempo Legend 10 Elite SG PRO AC Soft Ground Boots – £235 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Weighing lighter and featuring a sleeker design than last year’s generation, they’re the perfect choice for backs players who need to deliver precise passes or sprint to defend.

With enhanced touch sensation, a natural fit, and optimal traction from strategically placed conical studs, the Tiempo 10 empowers you to excel in every aspect of your game.

Incredible Versatility: A Game-Changer for All Positions

But what makes the Tiempo Legend truly special is its incredible versatility. It doesn’t just cater to forwards; it’s a game-changer for Fly-Halfs too. The cushioned feel when you connect with the ball gives you unparalleled control and precision.

Nike Tiempo Legend 10 Elite SG PRO AC Soft Ground Boots – £235 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

It’s like having the best of both worlds – protection and finesse all in one boot. That’s why the Tiempo 10 is the go-to choice for players who want to unleash their full potential and take their game to the next level.

So, are you ready to embark on a journey of greatness and embrace the future of rugby footwear with the Tiempo 10?

Key Features:

  • FlyTouch Plus Engineered Leather: Surpasses natural leather in softness and delivers a perfect fit for an unrivalled feel.
  • All Conditions Control Technology: Ensures a steadfast grip that allows you to dictate the game’s pace with confidence, regardless of the weather.
  • Lightweight & Sleek Design: Weighs lighter and features a sleeker design than last year’s generation, making it the perfect choice for backs players.
  • Enhanced Touch Sensation & Optimal Traction: Empowers you to excel in every aspect of your game with strategically placed conical studs.
  • Versatility: Offers a cushioned feel when you connect with the ball, providing unparalleled control and precision. It’s a game-changer for both forwards and Fly-Halfs.

#2. Canterbury Speed Infinite

Gear up and elevate your game with the Canterbury Speed Infinite Elite Rugby Boots, the ultimate choice for back players who crave that extra edge on the field.

Lightweight & Durable

Complete with a lightweight synthetic upper and strengthened by stitch reinforcement and a breathable VAPOSKIN membrane, these boots offer the perfect balance of durability and flexibility. With these boots on your feet, you can focus solely on your game without any distractions.

Canterbury Speed Infinite Elite SG Boots – NOW £110 (Was £139.99 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk)

Engergy Efficient & Stable

But the advantages don’t stop there…

The tight fit of these boots minimizes energy loss, allowing for rapid acceleration that will leave your opponents in the dust. And with FLIGHTBEAM technology and Pebax Powered® materials within the outsole, you can expect explosive energy response and unparalleled stability on the field.

Canterbury Speed Infinite Elite SG Boots – NOW £110 (Was £139.99 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk)

Comfort Redefined

But the perks don’t stop there. These boots are designed with additional features that take comfort to a whole new level. The knitted collar, targeted padding, and Ortholite® footbed offer exceptional comfort, keeping you in the game for longer and enabling you to perform at your absolute best.

So, are you ready to experience the future of rugby footwear? The Canterbury Speed Infinite Elite Rugby Boots are here to help you dominate the field like never before.

Get ready to take your game to the next level!

Key Features:

  • Lightweight & Durable: Made with a lightweight synthetic upper, stitch reinforcement, and a breathable VAPOSKIN membrane for the perfect balance of durability and flexibility.
  • Energy Efficient & Stable: The tight fit minimizes energy loss for rapid acceleration. FLIGHTBEAM technology and Pebax Powered® materials in the outsole provide explosive energy response and unparalleled stability.
  • Comfort Redefined: Designed with a knitted collar, targeted padding, and an Ortholite® footbed for exceptional comfor

#3. adidas RS15

The adidas RS15 Pro Rugby Boots are the ideal choice for backs who want to excel on the field. Engineered for rapid responsiveness in every direction, these boots give backs the agility and quick reactions they need during dynamic play.

Fusionskin for a First-Class Feel

Crafted with seamless Fusionskin leather, the RS15 offers a first-class feel and a customized fit, ensuring maximum comfort during fast-paced movements.

adidas RS15 Pro SG Boots – £220 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Stay confidently strapped in during intense sprints with rigid stability wings, ripstop fabric, and foam Sensepods. The asymmetrical lacing and 3D-printed elements on the upper provide exceptional ball contact, resulting in improved accuracy when delivering powerful kicks and passes.

Explosive Speedframe Outsole

With the Speedframe outsole providing biting traction, backs can effortlessly maintain control and unleash explosive bursts of speed whenever the game demands. Rejoice!

adidas RS15 Pro SG Boots – £220 at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Whether it’s darting through gaps, accelerating to outrun opponents, or delivering precise kicks, the adidas RS15 Pro Rugby Boots provide the competitive edge that backs crave.

Key Features:

  • Rapid Responsiveness: Engineered for quick reactions and agility during dynamic play.
  • Seamless Fusionskin Leather: Offers a first-class feel and a customized fit, ensuring maximum comfort during fast-paced movements.
  • Stability and Comfort: Features rigid stability wings, ripstop fabric, and foam Sensepods to keep you confidently strapped in during intense sprints.
  • Exceptional Ball Contact: The asymmetrical lacing and 3D-printed elements on the upper provide improved accuracy when delivering powerful kicks and passes.
  • Speedframe Outsole: Provides biting traction, allowing backs to maintain control and unleash explosive bursts of speed.

#4. adidas Predator Malice

If you’re an eagle-eyed fan of the rugby world, you’ve likely spotted these sleek boots on the feet of legends like Finn Russell, Beauden Barrett, and Richie Mo’unga.

Dynamic Kicking Excellence

But if you haven’t had the pleasure, allow us to present the ultimate partner in crime for Inside Backs – the adidas Predator Malice. These rugby boots are packed with remarkable features that will leave half-backs and any back with a killer kicking game weak at the knees.

adidas Predator Malice Soft Ground Boots – NOW £160 (Was £199.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Just picture it: distinctive rubberized diamond embellishments, an asymmetrical lacing system, and a toebox specifically designed to enhance control and feel when striking that ball.

adidas Predator Malice Soft Ground Boots – NOW £160 (Was £199.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Accuracy Redefined

Watch as your accuracy and distance soar to new heights, turning those crucial kicks into a piece of cake. And let’s not forget about the durable synthetic leather upper and unique stud configuration that guarantees to give you that extra momentum on the field!

Key Features:

  • Distinctive Design: Features rubberized diamond embellishments, an asymmetrical lacing system, and a toebox specifically designed to enhance control and feel when striking the ball.
  • Improved Accuracy and Distance: Helps your accuracy and distance soar to new heights, turning those crucial kicks into a piece of cake.
  • Durable and Unique: Comes with a durable synthetic leather upper and unique stud configuration.

#5. Mizuno Morelia Neo IV

Now, let’s shift our focus to another game-changer for Backs players – the Mizuno MIJ Neo IV . These boots are the epitome of high performance, crafted to meet the demands of speed, agility, and precision on the field.

Mizuno Made In Japan Neo IV Soft Ground Football Boots – NOW £240 (Was £299.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Lightweight Agility: Kangaroo Leather Mastery

The lightweight Kangaroo leather upper offers both durability and agility, allowing you to swiftly navigate through movements and execute quick direction changes with finesse.

As for the moulded outsole, it ensures exceptional grip on Soft natural pitches. But wait, there’s more!

Mizuno Made In Japan Neo IV Soft Ground Football Boots – NOW £240 (Was £299.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Unparalleled Touch: Mizuno MIJ Neo IV’s Responsive Feel

The Mizuno MIJ Neo IV is renowned for its unparalleled responsive feel and excellent touch, taking your ball control and precision to unprecedented heights. With these boots, Backs players are empowered to excel and leave their mark on the field, showcasing their true potential.

Step up your game and make an unforgettable impact on the rugby field!

Key Features:

  • Lightweight Kangaroo Leather Upper: Offers both durability and agility, allowing you to swiftly navigate through movements and execute quick direction changes with finesse.
  • Moulded Outsole: Ensures exceptional grip on soft natural pitches.
  • Unparalleled Responsive Feel and Excellent Touch: Renowned for taking your ball control and precision to unprecedented heights.

Like what you see? You can check out our extensive range of Rugby Boots for Backs at Lovell-rugby.co.uk.

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Choosing the Right Rugby Mouthguard for You!

Looking to protect your pearly-whites from the savages in the scrum, but not sure which Mouthguards are up to the job? Lucky for you we’re Rugby afficionados and have done the hard work so you don’t have to!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get you to your destination in confidence!

#1. What’s all the fuss about Rugby Mouthguards?

#2. Factors to Consider when Choosing Your Mouthgaurd

#3. The Best Mouthguards in the Game

#4. Finding Your Fit

#5. How to Care for Your Rugby Mouthguard

#6. Protection beyond the Mouthguard

#1. Why are Mouthguards so important in Rugby?

If you’re already familiar with the role and purpose of rugby mouthguards, feel free to skip ahead. However, if you’re new to the game or simply need a quick refresher, we’re here to help!

A Rugby Mouthguard, a vital piece of equipment, could be the difference between a regular game and an unplanned trip to the dentist!

Typically made from a flexible material known as Ethylene-vinyl acetate (or EVA for short), this material employs both soft and hard layers within the mouthguard. These layers work in tandem to evenly distribute forces upon impact, ensuring enduring protection, durability, and resistance to tearing.

In fact, Makurasport presents an eye-opening statistic: players who opt not to wear a mouthguard are 1.6 to 1.9 times more likely to suffer from orofacial trauma. This includes injuries to the mouth and face, such as displaced or fractured teeth, mouth or tongue cuts, and facial bone fractures.

Moreover, since the mandatory use of mouthguards in New Zealand in 1997, World Rugby reports a significant 47% decrease in rugby-related dental claims. They also discovered that mouthguards can reduce the risk of concussion by 20 percent.

Now, that’s a statistic worth noting!

#2. What should I look for when Choosing a Mouthguard?

When it comes to choosing the right mouthguard to protect your smile, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the flashy features and “enhanced protection” that some brands prominently display on their packaging without explaining why…

However, when it comes to your teeth, they deserve nothing but the best. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Comfort vs Protection – A superior mouthguard should not only be comfortable to wear but also provide adequate protection.
  • Sport Specific – The mouthguard you select should be suitable for the sport you play. Different sports require different levels of protection. If you’re a rugby player, we recommend considering these options.
  • Material – The material can influence its durability, comfort, and fit. Keep this in mind. Some materials include EVA, Silicone, Rubber, or Polyurethane.
  • Mouthguard Thickness – The thickness of the mouthguard can impact the level of protection it offers. While thicker mouthguards provide more protection, they can also be uncomfortable to wear.
  • Braces – If you wear braces, this is a critical factor to consider. We recommend the brand Opro if you’re seeking the perfect balance between functionality and affordability.
  • Easy to Clean – Ideally, the mouthguard should be easy to clean as maintaining oral hygiene is crucial.
  • Personalisation – Although it’s the last thing on the list, personalisation can be important to some people who prefer to show off their team colours, logo, or unique design. But hey, that’s entirely up to you at the end of the day!

#3. The Best Mouth Guards in the Game!

There’s a lot to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to our Top 3.

#1. Opro

Founded in 1997 by Dr Anhtony Lovat, Opro Moutguards quickly rose to become the pioneer in oral protection and have even supplied their gum shields to the likes of England Rugby, New Zealand Rugby and even the UFC, while also serving over 10 million athletes around the world.

Available in a wide range of colours, the Opro Self Fit Moutguard utilises anatomically positioned fins that soften when the Mouthguard is boiled to mould around the teeth for a bespoke fit.

Opro Self Fit Gold Level Mouth Guard – NOW £17 (WAS £19.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Wear braces? Opro have got you covered with their ‘Gold Braces’ Mouthguard that utilises a patented single compression cage to compress the mouthguard over the teeth for a perfect impression and superior fit.

Opro Self Fit Gold Braces – NOW £12 (WAS £19.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

#2. Shockdoctor

Another excellent brand that is committed to ensuring your pearly-whites stay protected – Shockdoctor!

Labelling themselves as “the undisputed leader in mouthguard technology”, aswell as the “#1 moutguard in the world”, Shockdoctor have made waves with their performance-driven mouthguards, earning the esteem of Pro and Youth athletes world wide.

Our personal favourite is the Shock Doctor Gel Max Power Carbon Mouth Guard as it delivers exceptional comfort and protection, all while donning a low-profile design that ensures a snug, natural fit with a re-inforced inner grid for maximum protection.

Shock Doctor Gel Max Power Carbon Mouth Guard – NOW £12 (WAS £23.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

Wearers of braces, we haven’t forgotten about you, and neither have Shock Doctor!

For an enhanced fit that doesn’t compromise on comfort, the Ultra Braces Mouthguard utilises a patented “Insta-Fit Plus” system to allow athletes to mold and re-mold the mouthguard as your teeth continue to adjust through orthodontic treatment.

Pair this with its triple-layer protection and you’re well on your way towards a distraction-free game!

Shock Doctor Ultra Braces Mouth Guard – NOW £18 (WAS £34.99) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

#3. Makura

For players not concerned about the bells and whistles of patented technologies and nifty neologisms that can leave you blue in the face, you don’t get much better than Makura!

Makura Ignis Pro Mouthguard Senior – NOW £5 (WAS £10) at Lovell-rugby.co.uk

These mouthguards are more than up to the task and house a super-tough outer otherwise branded as “Shokblocker” that absorbs/diffuses frontal and transveral impact, while “Airthru” channels help improve breathing when the jaw is closed.

Available from as little as £5 on Lovell Rugby, you can’t go wrong having one of these handy in your kitbag, whether as your daily driver, or simply as a spare!

#4. Finding your Fit: How to Fit a Traditional Mouthguard

If you’re opting for a traditional “Boil and Bite” EVA mouthguard, we’ve got you covered with a step by step guide to ensure you find the perfect fit first time!

Gently Prepare the Mouthguard:

  • Submerge the gumshield in boiling water for approximately 30 seconds to soften it.
  • Using tongs, carefully lift it out of the water and shake off any residual water.
  • Position the gumshield over your upper teeth, making sure it aligns properly within your mouth.

Securing the Fit

  • To adapt the mouthguard to the contours of your teeth, position your thumb inside your mouth and apply gentle suction.
  • Press your lower teeth onto the mouthguard, then use your finger on the outside to shape the mouthguard against your upper teeth.
  • Repeat these steps as necessary until the mouthguard stays in place comfortably.

Final Adjustments

  • If adjustments are needed, use sharp scissors to trim any excess material from the mouthguard.
  • For a polished finish, briefly hold the cut edges over a flame (be careful!) and then gently smooth them with your finger.

#5. Caring for your Rugby Mouthguard

Cleaning and maintaining your mouthguard is a crucial practice if you’re looking to ensure its longevity and your oral health.

There’s numerous ways in which to do it, so no excuses!

Toothpaste Method:

If you’ve got a spare toothbrush handy, this is one of the easiest ways to keep your gumshield clean!

  1. Rinse the mouthguard in cool water.
  2. Apply a small amount of non-abrasive toothpase to a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  3. Gently brush the mouthguard with a toothbrush until soapy.
  4. Rinse off the Toothpaste and dry.

Soap & Water Method:

Another method that doesn’t require a day out to the shops!

  1. Rinse the mouthguard in cool water.
  2. Apply a small amount of mild, alchohol free-soap to your mouthguard.
  3. Gently brush the mouthguard with a toothbrush until soapy.
  4. Rinse off the Soap and allow to dry.

Baking Soda Method:

  1. Combine equal parts baking soda and water into a small bowl until you form a paste.
  2. Dip your toothbrush into the past and gently brush your mouthhguard.
  3. Rinse off with cool water and let it dry.

6.Maximising your On-Field Protection

Curious about how else you can protect yourself on the field? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our Guide on ‘Rugby Safety Made Easy’, where we go beyond just Mouthguards and delve into the importance of Rugby Headguards and Body Armour for those who need it!

For now, that’s all from us here at The Full 80, but seeing as you’re here, why not check out Lovell Rugby’s extensive range of Rugby Mouthguards and Rugby Equipment?

There’s a reason they’re the World’s #1 Online Rugby Retailer!

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New News

A Sensational Final Round at the 2024 Six Nations!

Skip To:

#1. Wales vs Italy

#2. Ireland vs Scotland

#3. France vs England

Saturday 16th March

Wales vs Italy (21-24)

Last Saturday marked the end of a challenging Six Nations campaign for Wales, which unfortunately concluded without a single victory.

The match was dominated by Italy, who showcased a series of well-executed phases and an impenetrable defence, which led to Wales being awarded the Wooden Spoon for the first time in 21 years, a dubious honour that no team other than Italy had received since 2015.

Italy, however, were on form from the get-go as they sought to take early control of the first 40 by way of two penalties from none other than Paolo Garbisi, with an unconverted Monty Ioane effort bringing in an 11-0 advantage by half-time.

Desperate to make their way onto the scoreboard, Wales had their work cut out for them as the second half commenced, with Italy’s attacking flair proving overwhelming as Lorenzo Pani notched an incredible individual effort to boost his side’s lead to 18-0.

The home side’s silver lining finally came in the 74’ as hooker Elliot Dee bundled over for a converted effort from close range to bridge the gap to 18-7.

However, penalties by way of Martin Page-Role and Garbisi ensured Italy’s advantage was extended, and saw the scores reach 24-7 with just 10 minutes remaining.

In the dying moments of the game, and with tensions high, Will Rowlands and Mason Grady quested to hit back for the home side, with Sam Costelow converting to bring the score to 24-21. But as the clock ticked into the red, it was too late. Italy had achieved their second win of the 2024 tournament!

A word from Gatland:

Head Coach Warren Gatland reflected on the team’s performance and offered to step down from his position. However, his resignation was promptly turned down by WRU Chief Executive Abi Tierney.

Despite the sting of defeat from all five games, Gatland is now channeling his energy into revitalizing the Welsh team and informed the BBC post-match:

“I told Abi in the changing room that I’m quite happy to resign if that’s what she wants.”

Tierney’s response was immediate and emphatic,

“Like hell, that’s the last thing I want. That’s what I’m really afraid of.”

Gatland, in turn, assured,

“I can promise you we’ll go away and review this carefully. We’ve already started some review work and we’ll focus on improving the areas that need it.”

As it Happened:

The match kicked off with a frantic first 15 minutes, with both teams eager to make their mark on the scoreboard, but it was Italy who struck first.

Paolo Garbisi, with his precise kicking, managed to score two penalties, giving Italy an early lead.

The pressure on Wales only intensified as Monty Ioane, after a series of well-executed offloads, scored a flawless try. This series of events brought the Azzurri to an 11-0 lead, setting a challenging pace for the match.

Wales, determined to impress on home soil, continued to exhibit a strong formation at the breakdown. However, this soon proved costly as Italy capitalized on their error-making.

As the game edged towards half time, Italy let their penalty chances slip through their fingers, providing Wales with an opportunity to touch down for an additional three points. However, they opted for the lineout and an immediate knock-on halted their advances in Azzurri territory. As a result, Italy took an 11-0 advantage into the break.

Bolstered from leading the first half, Italy returned after the break with a phenomenal try by Pani, who valiantly sped down the right-hand side, simultaneously side-stepping three defenders before touching down. Garbisi converted to bring the Azzurri 18-0 ahead.

Desperate to turn the tables, the home side delivered a series of phase attacks, with the Azzurri dominating at the breakdown, covering all areas to prevent Wales from crossing the whitewash.

It wasn’t until the 64th minute, with just over 15 minutes left on the clock, that Wales finally found their footing. They executed a series of phase attacks before Elliot Dee touched down from short range, all while obtaining the penalty advantage. Costelow added the extras to bridge the gap to 18-7.

Despite Wales exhibiting greater attacking prowess, their renewed determination was interrupted when Garbisi and Martin Page-Relo added penalty conversions to extend Italy’s lead to 21-7, with just under 7 minutes left on the clock.

The home side quickly responded through Rowlands darting over in the 79th minute, with Costelow converting to bring the scores to 24-13 with just over a minute left.

With the clock now in the red, Grady pushed for one last attempt to bridge the gap. He delivered an astounding grubber kick after breaking through Italy’s defences, before touching down under the sticks.

Nevertheless, the opportunity to convert came too late. The scores concluded at 21-24, with Wales awarded the Wooden Spoon for the first time since 2003, and Italy securing two wins and a draw to make their most successfuly Six Nations campaign ever!

Fantastic work from Italy!

#2. Ireland vs Scotland ( 17-13)

The luck of the Shamrock was on Ireland’s side last Saturday as Andy Farrell’s team claimed back-to-back Six Nations titles for the third time in their history, putting an end to Scotland’s campaign as the scores concluded 17-13 in Ireland’s favour.

Despite missing out on the opportunity to secure back-to-back grand slam wins after narrowly losing to England in Round 4, Ireland returned to face the Scots with a newfound determination.

Most notably, tries by way of hooker Dan Sheehan and loosehead prop Andrew Porter, alongside seven points from the boot of Jack Crowley was what ultimately concluded Ireland’s victory, with Scotland’s Finn Russell having responded with two penalties and a late Huw Jones try.

With Ireland emerging victorious, despite having missed out on repeat Grand Slams, the end of the 2024 Championship marks their sixth in the Six Nations era, and fifth in the last 11 years, with 19 outright championship successes.

As it Happened:

The match ignited with Scotland seizing control from the get-go. Finn Russell’s precise penalty kick, a result of Ireland’s James Lowe’s infraction for crawling with the ball, nudged Scotland into an early 3-0 lead.

But soon, the momentum shifted. Crowley and Lowe orchestrated a counterattack, applying immense pressure deep within Scotland’s territory, inching closer to the coveted 22-yard line.

A well-timed offside penalty against Scotland gifted Ireland a prime opportunity. They capitalized on it brilliantly, opting for a strategic kick to the corner. What followed was sheer brilliance: Dan Sheehan’s unexpected try, orchestrated through a masterful lineout move within Scotland’s 22.

Scotland, undeterred, swiftly retaliated after a lackluster clearance kick from Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park. Sensing an opening, they pounced on Joe McCarthy’s offside position, narrowing the scoreline to a mere point at 7-6.

The subsequent moments saw both teams showcasing their defensive prowess, with Crowley’s missed penalty attempt keeping the first half tantalizingly close.

As the second half commenced, Ireland emerged rejuvenated. A breathtaking offload from Lowe sent Bundee Aki surging into Scotland’s 22, igniting hopes of another try. Yet, Scotland’s steadfast defense held firm until they conceded a breakdown penalty, allowing Crowley to extend Ireland’s lead to 10-6.

Despite Scotland’s dominant scrum penalty and territorial gains, a critical error from Jordan Larmour near the try-line dashed their hopes of a breakthrough.

With the clock ticking, Ireland intensified their assault. But despite numerous opportunities, including missed chances by Furlong and Ringrose, they struggled to break through Scotland’s resilient defense.

Their frustration mounted, but with just 16 minutes remaining, Ireland seized a pivotal moment. Center Robbie Henshaw burst through Scotland’s defensive line, seemingly destined for glory.

However, in a breathtaking display of determination, Scotland’s Cameron Redpath thwarted Henshaw’s advance, denying Ireland the crucial try, as confirmed by the TMO review.

Prior to this pivotal play, Scotland’s indiscipline cost them dearly, conceding three penalties that led to hooker Ewan Ashman being sin-binned.

Capitalising on their numerical advantage, Ireland wasted no time in exploiting the gap, as Porter surged over the line following a precise five-meter attack and an expert flick-pass from Ronan Kelleher.

Crowley’s successful conversion narrowed the scoreline to 17-6. Yet, Ireland’s grip on victory remained uncertain, as Huw Jones’s electrifying sprint in the 77th minute and Harry Byrne’s subsequent sin bin for a high tackle on Russell injected late drama into the contest.

Despite these setbacks, Ireland remained composed and calculated. Their methodical approach paid off as they forced a critical knock-on, reclaiming possession following the restart. With time running out, Ireland held firm, securing their hard-fought victory.

#3. France vs England (33-31)

A close call for France saw Steve Borthwick’s best denied the coveted second place spot at this year’s Six Nations as Thomas Ramos edged Les Bleus towards a 33-31 victory over England, bumping Borthwick’s side to a respectable third place.

Despite England’s triumph in being the first to put points on the scoreboard by way of a George Ford penalty, it was France who held the reigns for the majority of the first half as Ramos delivered three penalties and Nolann Le Garrec’s sensational converted try gave Les Bleus the lead.

England weren’t without their moments however, as they hit back just before half time by way of Ollie Lawrence, followed by a Ford conversion to reduce the defecit to just 6 points by half time, bringing the scores to 16-10.

The momentum ensued after the break as England delivered two converted tries within the sapce of just six minutes from Lawrence and Marcus Smith that saw Borthwick’s side obtain a 24-16 advantage.

Undetterred, Les Bleus shortly hit back through Leo Barre’s converted effort to bridgethe gap to just one point.

It was Gael Fickou who bolstered his efforts to bring France back ahead, with Ramos close behind, however his missed penalty opportunity spurred England to hit back through Freeman and Ford for a sensational conversion to bring them to a 31-30 lead.

The almost-certain victory for England was cut short in the closing moments of the game as a Ramos penalty from the halfway line saw France clinch a 33-31 victory, firmly securing the second place spot in the Six Nations.

As it Happened:

A fast-paced start saw the momentum swing like a pendulum as both England and France sought to assert their dominance in the opening moments of the game, as Marcus Smith engaged in the fullback position in place of George Furbank after sustaining a calf injury.

While France applied the pressure, England withstood, becoming the first to make their way onto the scoreboard as Ford chipped one over.

Ramos soon hit back with a penalty of his own, with Le Garrec following up in the ’20 to give the home side the advantage, the scoreboard reading 10-3.

As France’s momentum surged, England managed to withstand the onslaught. However, it wasn’t long before a penalty by Ramos widened the gap. The ball soared over the posts, extending Les Bleus’ lead to 13-3 with just 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

The away side continued to dominate the breakdown, exposing vulnerabilities in England’s formation and setting the stage for Ramos to take another shot.

Yet, amidst the mounting pressure, England found a glimmer of hope. A series of penalties put them in an advantageous position, allowing Lawrence to exploit a gap and dart under the posts, bringing the scores to 16-10 in favour of France at halftime.

As the second half began, England appeared to be on form as the visitors inititiated a series of attacks that saw Underhill and Earl combine efforts to send Ollie Lawrence powering over for his second try, with Ford converting for a 17-16 lead.

Radiating a sense of new-found confidence, it was Marcus Smith who delivered England’s second try just six minutes into the second half, with Ford converting once more to place England 8 points in front as the scoreboard read 24-16.

Les Bleus were quick to respond however, as a series of multiple passes sent Barre over, with Ramos converting to bridge the gap to just one point.

Further dissapointment struck for England shortly after as a poor lineout throw saw their defences shaken as Damian Penaud and Fickau monopoloised on Smith’s mistakes to combine, with Fickou diving under the posts to place 6 points up, placing France in the lead at 30-24 with just 20 minutes on the clock.

A Tommy Freeman interception soon set pulses racing as his attempt hit hte ground, delivering Ramos with yet another penalty, however failed to send it over, with 6 points being all to play for.

In a twist of fate, it was Freeman who delivered the passing move to place England within just a single point, with Ford delivering an exceptional conversion for a 31-30 lead.

However a late penalty for France saw Ramos send the ball over the sticks, sealing the victory at 33-31, earning them a second place standing after Ireland.

The Final Standings:

As the Six Nations championship concludes for another year, the scores are in! With Ireland on a roll with their back-to-back wins, will they be able to do the same next year?

Time will tell, but for now, that’s all from us here at The Full 80!

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Week 4 Recap of the 2024 Six Nations Championship!

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#1. Italy vs Scotland (31-29)

#2. England vs Ireland (23-22)

#3. Wales vs France (24-45)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Marcus Smith of England makes a breaks clear from Ryan Baird and Caelan Doris of Ireland during the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on March 09, 2024 in London, England.
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Saturday 9th March 2024

#1. Italy vs Scotland (31-29)

Italy marked their first Six Nations victory on home soil in 11 years, delivering a sensational 31-29 comeback victory at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Azzurri, emboldened by their agonising draw against France in Round 3, showed they were not looking to repeat past mistakes.

Despite the fantastic tries by Zander Fagerson, Kyle Steyn, Pierre Schoeman, and Sam Skinner, it wasn’t enough for Scotland. Their dream of facing off against Ireland in the final weekend of the Six Nations has been dashed.

The first half was dominated by Scotland’s attack, with tries from Fagerson, Steyn, and Schoeman. Finn Russell’s relentless attack from the boot gave Scotland an early advantage. However, Italy responded with a try from Ignacio Brex and three conversions from Paolo Garbisi, trailing 22-16 at half time.

The second half saw Italy return with renewed vigour. Louis Lynagh touched down, and a conversion from Stephen Varney gave the home side a commanding 28-22 lead with just 20 minutes remaining. The Stadio Olimpico erupted in cheers as Garbisi extended Italy’s lead with a penalty.

However, Scotland responded through Sam Skinner, with Russell converting to bring the scores to 31-29 with just two minutes left.

In a desperate bid to reach the final showdown, Scotland orchestrated an attack consisting of over 20 phases. But the Azzurri held firm, securing one of their biggest Six Nations victories since their 22-15 win over Ireland in 2013.

As it Happened:

The atmosphere was palpable as Italy, with a newfound resilience, began their formidable onslaught against Scotland.

The drama of the game began to unfold within the first two minutes, as Italy’s fly-half, Garbisi, seized the moment and delivered a stunning penalty at the breakdown, giving Italy an early 3-0 lead.

Scotland retaliated with an impressive 18-phase attack, culminating in Fagerson powering over the line. This was closely followed by Steyn, just six minutes later. Russell’s two conversions dealt a significant blow, catapulting Scotland into a 14-3 advantage.

Italy, determined to reclaim their ground, responded swiftly. Brex picked up the chip over the top and dived over, closing the gap to just 14-10 within the first 20 minutes of the game.

Capitalising on their lead, Scotland regained momentum. Russell’s penalty extended Scotland’s lead, before he executed a sensational 50:22 that saw Schoeman burrow over from close range, placing the visitors 22-10 in front.

Garbisi, not to be outdone, replied with a boot of his own, adding three more points to the scoreboard. Page-Relo took on the kicking duties to add three more, concluding an impressive score of 22-16 by half time.

As the second half began, Scotland thought they had struck straight after half-time to deliver the bonus-point, but it was struck off due to blocking in the build-up.

Italy, seizing the opportunity, hit back as Lynagh chased the grubber kick before diving over on debut, marking a thrilling moment in the match.

However, a missed conversion from Garbisi left the hosts trailing by a hair’s breadth at 22-21. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation as fans held their breath, fearing that the Azzuri had squandered their golden opportunity to regain the lead.

With the tension reaching a fever pitch, Italy, undeterred by the setback, sought to bridge the gap.

In a dramatic turn of events, replacement scrum-half Varney bounded over the line, handing the Azzuri their much-needed lead. Garbisi, in a moment of redemption, added the extra points, catapulting Italy into a 28-22 lead. 

As the clock ticked down into the final quarter, Italy found themselves in a nail-biting situation with just 20 minutes to hold their ground. The drama escalated in the 71st minute when Scotland was caught offside.

Seizing this opportune moment, Garbisi extended Italy’s lead to 31-22, sending a wave of anticipation through the crowd.

Scotland, however, was not ready to concede. As the game tilted in Italy’s favour, a converted Skinner reduced the deficit to a mere two points at 31-29, rekindling hope among the visitors that they could still secure a win.

But Italy’s defence was unyielding. They stood their ground against Scotland’s 20-phase attack, forcing a turnover that sent shockwaves through the stadium.

#2. England vs Ireland (23-22)

Last Saturday, Ireland’s aspiration for consecutive Six Nations Grand Slams was thwarted. They were defeated by England’s robust team, with a decisive drop-goal by Marcus Smith, resulting in a close 23-22 victory for England.

Many consider this match to be England’s finest performance in the championship. Key players Ollie Lawrence, George Furbank, and Ben Earl demonstrated remarkable skills, each scoring tries.

Ireland, too, had their moments of brilliance. Jack Crowley’s four penalties were like well-aimed arrows, while James Lowe’s two tries were a testament to his agility and speed. But despite being ahead by nine points at one stage, they couldn’t hold onto their lead. England, like a relentless tide, pushed forward.

The game’s rhythm changed when Ireland suffered injuries to their backs, leading to a reshuffling of positions that saw scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park moved to the wing. Further complicating Ireland’s dance was a yellow card for their captain, Peter O’Mahony, a setback that proved costly.

Despite their valiant efforts, Ireland’s performance, though commendable, fell just short of victory.

As it Happened:

The drama of the match began to unfold within the first three minutes, as Ireland’s Crowley seized the moment and delivered a stunning penalty, giving Ireland an early 3-0 lead.

England retaliated with an impressive try by Lawrence, bypassing Crowley to score in the corner. Meanwhile, Ireland suffered a setback as Nash was injured after a bold tackle attempt, leaving Ireland a player short.

The onslaught from England continued, their confidence seemingly bolstered by their opening try. Only turnovers by van der Flier and Beirne in the Ireland 22 prevented further tries.

Ford managed to widen the gap shortly after, as a result of Ireland’s Aki being on the wrong side, leading to a penalty that pushed England’s lead to 8-3. However, in typical Crowley style, the fly-half retaliated with a successful kick moments later, reducing the deficit to a mere two points.

Aki’s unsuccessful carry at the restart resulted in England gaining possession. They chose to kick to the corner with their subsequent penalty, rather than attempting a shot at the posts. A potential second try by Lawrence was dismissed due to a knock-on by Furbank.

Ireland’s Aki soon redeemed himself as he secured a penalty near halfway, which saw Crowley edge Ireland into a 9-8 lead.

The following moments were tense as Furbank gave Ireland the last offensive opportunity of the first half. From this position, Crowley extended their lead to four points with a successful kick after England was penalized for being offside.

As the second half ensued, Ireland exhibited a new-found confidence in their attacking formation that saw a breathtaking try by Lowe touch down in the corner, while Keenan’s brilliant high-ball set the stage before Crowley’s composure and skill sent Doris running into space.

Crowley, in his attempt to follow up with a conversion saw the fly-half’s ball steer wide, much to the appreciation of England who were trailing 9 points behind.

In an unexpected development, Underhill made a fantastic carry and offload, creating an opening for Furbank to make a sprint down the left side of the field.

In an attempt to reduce the score difference, Ford took a penalty kick. However, he missed for the second time, leaving England four points behind.Meanwhile, Gibson-Park from the Ireland team was prepared to replace Frawley, who had to leave the match due to a failed Head Injury Assessment (HIA).

Ireland experienced further disappointment when O’Mahony was penalized and sent to the sin-bin for diving over a ruck following a line-break. England capitalized on this by kicking the ball to the corner, creating a significant scoring opportunity. They seized this chance and took the lead through Ben Earl, after executing several phases of attacks at close range

A penalty at the breakdown by Kelleher led to Crowley executing an excellent kick to touch. Lowe then scored with seven minutes remaining after a series of skillful passes during a run, making it appear as though Ireland had secured the win. However, Daly missed a long-distance penalty with just four minutes to go.

Sunday 10th March 2024

#3. Wales vs France (24-45)

France dominated Wales last Sunday as the second-half of the match saw Les Bleus snag a sensational bonus-point win in Cardiff that saw the scores conclude 45-24.

The match kicked off with an intense first half. Both teams managed to score two tries each, with the lead switching sides five times.

For Wales, wing Rio Dyer and scrum-half Tomos Williams made significant contributions, while centre Gael Fickou and scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec did the same for France.

Fly-halves Sam Costelow and Thomas Ramos also made their mark, with successful kicks that put France ahead by three points at halftime.

The second half of the game was no less exciting. Wales managed to regain the lead briefly with a try from centre Joe Roberts. However, the rest of the match belonged to France.

Over the next 35 minutes, replacement tighthead Georges-Henri Colombe, lock Romain Taofifenua, and scrum-half Maxime Luca scored additional tries, sealing a bonus-point win for Les Bleus.

As it Happened:

Wales were quick to make their way onto the scoreboard within the first 2 minutes of the match as Costelow delivered a penalty. However, it wasn’t long until Les Bleus’ Ramos followed up with a penalty of his own just 5 minutes later to bring the scores to a tie.

Determined to hold their own after an underwhelming performance against Ireland in week 3, Wales notched the opening try when winger Rio Dyer secured a loose ball as he boldy sped through the middle of the pitch, slipping past France’s defence to touch down under the posts.

France responded through Ramos, narrowing Wales lead to just four points within four minutes, with the first scrum of the match seeing Les Bleus drive over the top of their Welsh rivals against the head.

An impressive performance came by way of Wales’ lock Adam Beard who forced a maul turnover with France applying the pressure in the Wales 22.

However, within a matter of minutes, France bundled over to secure the lead after the ball passed through Ramos and Damian Penaud to provide Fickou with an opportune moment to slip through the grasp of Costelow, for a touch down in the corner.

Ramos quickly converted from the touchline, but Wales was not far behind. In a thrilling sequence, they found themselves over the try-line just moments later.

It was centre Owen Watkin who initiated the break, deftly passing inside to Tomos Williams. With a swift move, Williams darted under the post, leaving the French defences in disarray and out of sight.

As the first half was drawing to a close, France started to regain their footing and redoubled their efforts to take back the lead. This came after full-back Cameron Winnet was compelled to retreat over his own try-line, thereby giving France a five-metre scrum attack. This set the stage for Le Garrec to swiftly dart past the posts.

No further points came in the remainder of the first half, leaving the scores hanging in the balance, however just three minutes into the second half, Wales regained the lead as well-calculated dummy pass from Jamie Roberts saw the Centre get over the line after Williams had just been stopped by a last-ditch Fickou tackle.

Determined to emerge victorious, and to secure a bonus point win, the following 20 minute period brought on a wave of unshakeable French dominance, however Les Bleus failed to add any points as Ramos and debutant centre Nicolas Depoortere were halted at the try-line.

Further insult to injury came by way of No 8 Gregory Alldritt who saw his try ruled out as a result ofa knock-on, TMO confimed, and scrum dominance close to the Wales try-line failed to be rewarded when referee Luke Pearce penalised France for an early drive.

A glimmer of hope emerged when Les Blues successfully scored a penalty the next time they were in position, following a dynamic dash by Penaud.

With a quarter of an hour left, France finally achieved a try, reclaiming the lead they deserved through the formidable prop Colombe from a short distance.

The game’s intensity escalated just five minutes later when Taofifenua blocked a kick from Wales’ scrum-half Gareth Davies and sprinted forward to touch down the ball.

In the final moments, Ramos added another penalty following some outstanding ruck work by Colombe, leaving just enough time for Lucu to catch a pass from Penaud and score a fifth try in the last move of the game.

What’s next?

Round 5 (Saturday 16th March 2024)

  • Wales vs Italy
    • Kick-off time: 14:15 UTC
    • Venue: Principality Stadium
  • Ireland vs. Scotland
    • Kick-off time: 16:45 UTC
    • Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • France vs. England
    • Kick-off time: 20:00 UTC
    • Venue: Groupama Stadium, Lyon

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