Balls for Rugby

London Wasps Replica Ball Mini London Wasps Replica Ball Mini
Cost: £4.99
Kitbag
RBS Six Nations Ball Size 5 RBS Six Nations Ball Size 5
Cost: £11.99
Kitbag
Leicester Tigers Replica Ball Mini Leicester Tigers Replica Ball Mini
Cost: £4.99
Kitbag
Sale Sharks Rugby Ball Size 5 Sale Sharks Rugby Ball Size 5
Cost: £17.99
Kitbag
Gilbert Replica Flag Rugby Ball - Size 5. Gilbert Replica Flag Rugby Ball - Size 5.
Cost: £15.99
Kitbag
London Wasps Replica Ball Size 5 London Wasps Replica Ball Size 5
Cost: £17.99
Kitbag
Gloucester Replica Ball Size 5 Gloucester Replica Ball Size 5
Cost: £19.99
Kitbag
Leicester Tigers Rugby Ball Size 5 Leicester Tigers Rugby Ball Size 5
Cost: £19.99
Kitbag
Dimension 205 rugby match ball Dimension 205 rugby match ball
Cost: £16.99
Lovell Rugby
Guinness Rugby ball Guinness Rugby ball
Cost: £11.99
Lovell Rugby
Synergie Match Rugby Ball Synergie Match Rugby Ball
Cost: £79.99
Lovell Rugby
Gilbert Barbarian Rugby Match Ball Gilbert Barbarian Rugby Match Ball
Cost: £33.99
Lovell Rugby
Rugby Pass Developer Rugby Pass Developer
Cost: £14.99
Lovell Rugby
Revolution X Rugby Match Ball Revolution X Rugby Match Ball
Cost: £42.49
Lovell Rugby
Wave Rugby Ball Fluoro/Black/Grey Wave Rugby Ball Fluoro/Black/Grey
Cost: £4.99
Lovell Rugby
Challenger Rugby Ball Blue/Black Challenger Rugby Ball Blue/Black
Cost: £5.99
Lovell Rugby
Wave Rugby Ball White/Black/Grey Wave Rugby Ball White/Black/Grey
Cost: £4.99
Lovell Rugby
Gilbert Heavy Duty Stirrup Pump Gilbert Heavy Duty Stirrup Pump
Cost: £14.99
Lovell Rugby
Rugby Needle Adaptor Blister Pack Set of 2 Rugby Needle Adaptor Blister Pack Set of 2
Cost: £1.99
Lovell Rugby
Heavy Duty Stirrup Pump Heavy Duty Stirrup Pump
Cost: £14.99
Lovell Rugby

When William Webb Ellis picked up the ball at Rugby school it was made by the firm that has supplied balls to almost all of the Rugby World Cups and are used in the majority of International match's around the world. That firm is Gilberts who have therefore been producing rugby balls since 1823. The first balls were made from 4 leather panels hand stitched together with a pigs bladder inside. The bladder was inflated whilst still fresh from the pig and the method was to use a clay pipe and lung power. Early balls varied in shape depending on the bladder being used. With the advent of rubber the bladders improved but the ball was still leather. It was only in the 80's that leather balls were phased out and modern synthetic materials used. This now means that non-slip surfaces and waterproofing make the modern ball lighter and easier to handle and kick than the slippery and heavy leather ball when wet.

Types & Sizes of Balls

There are small differences between different manufacturers balls but the most striking difference is in the size. All balls must now conform to the IRB standard but vary in size depending on the age of the player using them the sizes are:

The original balls were more plum shaped than oval. James Gilbert 1831-1906 was the best at blowing the big match balls up tight as he had very strong lungs. Stitched balls were inclined to burst when the stitching rotted or holes were to close to the edge of the leather to take the pressure. Mud stuck to the leather balls making them heavy to pass and like a bar of soap to hold. Balls were made from 8 panels (torpedo) pointed shape, 6 panels or the now most common 4. Player power in 1932 lead to a rule change which reduced the ball size by 1 inch. Weighted balls are used to strengthen the scrum half pass. Gilbert match balls are used by New Zealand, South Africa, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France. Australia use a slightly different ball which accounts for many players having difficulties when kicking for goal. Top kickers can get a ball to bounce where they want but most of us never know where it will end up..