Best rugby ball

Recreational Sports

Rugby is widely regarded as a safer sport than American football.

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Which rugby ball is best?

Not to be confused with football, rugby is a great sport to watch and play, as it is popular amongst various countries around the world. Rugby is one of the top international sports in the world, but it is also a fun activity to play in the backyard, at the park, and other appropriate areas.

The sport requires and helps develop strength, endurance, agility, speed and stamina. It may look like an intimidating sport at first, but rugby is commonly played on a professional, semi-professional and recreational level in schools and other leagues around the world. If you’re looking for a hand-stitched and multicolored rugby ball, the Gilbert USA Official Replica Rugby Ball is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a rugby ball

Precautionary equipment

While pads, helmets, and other protective gear aren’t typically worn in rugby, it’s best to wear a mouthpiece when playing the sport. Even if you have no intention of getting physical when playing rugby, the sport can get intense and there are instances where you could be in a pile, get tackled, and more. A mouthpiece will help keep your mouth protected when playing and reduce the risk of you losing teeth if you make a high-impact collision with another player. Besides mouthpieces, though, there isn’t much protection equipment that is worn for rugby, but it could help if you wear padded compression shirts under your uniform.


The most common sizes of a rugby ball that are used in the sport are size 3, size 4, and size 5. Size 3 is meant for kids under the age of 9 years old, and the size can be useful for beginners who are new to the sport. Size 4 is another size suitable for youth ages but in the 10- to 14-year-old range, as this size is commonly used in middle school and some high school leagues. The official size used in adult tournaments and leagues is size 5. This size is used for those 15 and over, as well as people who are experienced in the sport and want more of a professional feel. 

What to look for in a quality rugby ball

Natural rubber

While synthetic rubber may have better durability, natural rubber has better grip and that is what is most important when you’re in the middle of a match. Natural rubber rugby balls can be durable as well, but with the technology available today, rugby balls brands have increasingly used synthetic rubber materials for their products. 


Hand-stitched rugby balls may be more expensive, but they are worth it as the stitching is done precisely without error. Balls that are stitched by machine are more prone to imperfections and can cause the ball to not inflate as well. People also prefer hand-stitched rugby balls because more detail goes into it.

How much you can expect to spend on a rugby ball

Rugby balls can range from around $15-$100. There aren’t too many factors that contribute to the price range except that official ball replicas, signed balls, souvenirs and hand-stitched ones tend to be more in the $50-$100 range. But you can find rugby balls that can be used for tournament play and other adult matches in the $15-$50 range. 

Rugby ball FAQ

What is a rugby ball made out of?

A. Traditional rugby balls consisted of leather materials on the inside (similar to a football) and used a pig’s bladder for the inside. Today, modern rugby balls have an outer shell made out of either synthetic, rubber and/or polyester materials. These materials provide a much better grip than leather. Modern rugby balls tend to use synthetic and/or latex materials for the interior and the bladder. Rugby balls were commonly hand-stitched in previous times, and certain brands still use this practice today. 

Is a rugby ball bigger than a football?

A. Rugby balls are slightly shorter, being about a centimeter shorter in length than a football. Rugby balls tend to be 27 centimeters in length and footballs are 28 centimeters. Rugby balls do weigh more than a football, though, as they weigh approximately 1 pound, and a football weighs a few ounces less. The weight differential may not sound like a lot, but you can tell the difference when playing with a football versus a rugby ball. 

What’s the best rugby ball to buy?

Top rugby ball

Gilbert USA Official Replica Rugby Ball

Gilbert USA Official Replica Rugby Ball

What you need to know: This officially licensed rugby ball comes in USA colors, allowing owners to represent the national team with the red, white and blue colors.

What you’ll love: The rugby ball comes in a size 5, which is the regulation size, allowing the ball to be used for practices or tournaments. The synthetic latex bladder improves air retention inside the ball, so there won’t be leaks when using the ball. 

What you should consider: The ball comes deflated and doesn’t include an air pump. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top rugby ball for the money

Crown Sporting Goods Royal Red Rugby Match Ball

Crown Sporting Goods Royal Red Rugby Match Ball

What you need to know: Using a hard rubber surface, this rugby ball has a stylish look and can be used in various scenarios such as tournaments, practice matches and training. 

What you’ll love: The textured outer surface makes gripping the ball easy and can be very useful when playing in wet conditions. The ball comes with an air pump, so you can inflate and play as soon as you get it. 

What you should consider: The ball may feel a bit too soft. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pro Impact Training Rugby Ball

Pro Impact Training Rugby Ball

What you need to know: With various sizes and colors to choose from, these rugby balls can be great for youth leagues or for official adult leagues as well. 

What you’ll love: This rugby ball uses a combination of synthetic rubber, cotton, and polyester that creates a highly durable outer shell with a grip that will keep the ball securely in your grasp. Three different sizes are offered, with each one designated for either youth, teenagers and adults. 

What you should consider: The ball stains very easily. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ade Hennis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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