Rugby FAQs

Equip yourself like a pro in both knowledge and kit with these FAQs of all things rugby – union and league. Learn the ins and outs of a match, tick off the must-haves for your kit bag and brush up on technical talk in our glossary.
What is the Difference Between Rugby Union and Rugby League?
The two forms of rugby feature the same basic principles and game rules – with the aim of scoring as many points as possible via tries, conversions and goals.
However, possession, tackling, awarding points, team numbers and the pitch layout all feature differences, with some aspects, like possession seeing significant variances.

Rugby Rules

How Long is a Rugby Match?
A rugby match is split into two 40-minute halves – with half-time being a mandatory rest period for players, which is 10 minutes long.
How Many Players are on a Rugby Team?
In rugby union the team consists of 15 players and rugby league 13 players make up the team. A match begins with a kick off from the centre of the field, where one team kicks the ball into their opponents’ territory.
Sports Direct Rugby FAQ's

What are the Different Rugby Positions?

Both league and union teams are made up of forwards and backs.

How to Score in a Rugby Match?

There are four ways of scoring for points in a rugby match:

Rugby Bag Checklist

Rugby can be an exciting sport, whether playing or watching, but if you’re planning on taking it up as a new hobby, or simply need a few ideas, this checklist will help you to decide what to pack in your rugby bag!
Start with some good quality rugby boots. You need a solid pair of rugby boots that are comfortable and strong. Sports Direct has a great range of rugby boots, with well-known brands such as adidas, Canterbury, Mizuno and KooGa, ensuring quality and excellent features for playing rugby. There are different sorts of boots you can buy, including soft ground, firm ground and elite boots, so it’s best to know which sort of environment you will be playing in, to get the most out of your boots. .
Think - you want good features in your rugby boots, such as, lightweight materials and designs help to utilise speed, abrasion resistance, rearfoot stability and shock absorption.
You may need to purchase some rugby training wear: a shirt, short or long sleeved, some shorts or some trousers and some extra accessories, like socks. Keeping warm and comfortable is essential if you’re planning on playing rugby, whether with mates or a club, especially if you’re playing outside in the cooler months.
Tip - if you’re unsure what to wear to play rugby, it’s best to choose warm clothes, perhaps thermal clothing. If you play with a club, they may have a uniform, so you can wear thermal training wear underneath, to stay warm.
It’s integral to make sure you protect yourself while playing rugby, as it can be hands-on. Explore the full range of safety gear that we have on offer, with products such as: body armour, scrum caps and gum shields. Protective gear is essential for staying safe while having fun playing rugby and our collection of equipment will help you do just that. Brands such as Opro and Sondico provide great quality equipment for your rugby ventures, so it’s worth taking a look at the rugby protective gear we have on offer. You may want to wear a rugby team shirt whilst training - the material tends to be breathable and durable, so it could be a great option. Show your team some support by wearing a rugby team jersey - we have an extensive collection of ruby team shirts on offer, from hugely popular teams. England, Wales, New Zealand, France, just to name a few!
Sports nutrition can be a great addition to your rugby bag, for when you need a boost of energy. Sports Direct have a selection of sports nutrition to choose from, including protein powders, energy bars and hydration tabs. Popping an energy-packed snack in your bag, along with a water bottle or flask, will help to keep your game up and hunger and dehydration at bay.
Sports Direct has a great range of rugby equipment and accessories, whether you’re off to a training session or even a matchday. Rugby balls, studs, shoulder pads and other vital accessories are available, from big brands like Sondico and Opro, which are sure to help you improve your skill and elevate your games.
Of course, you can’t forget about a bag. Grab a sports bag today to fill with your favourite rugby equipment and accessories.

Rugby Glossary

Advantage line

Also called the gain line. This line is imaginary across the centre of the pitch when there is a breakdown in open play

Box Kick

A high over-the-shoulder kick, performed by scrum-halves in tight attacking or defensive positions

Drop Kick

A kick in which the ball is dropped to the ground and kicked at the moment that it bounces

Dump Tackle

In which the tackler wraps their arms around the ball carrier's thighs before lifting them a short distance and then forcibly driving them to the ground


Play is restarted after the ball has gone into touch


When the player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents and one or more of the ball carrier's team mates holds on as well - the ball must be off the ground

Penalty Kick

Awarded after the opposition have committed an offence

Place Kick

A kick in which the ball is placed in position on the ground before it is kicked


Formed when at least one player from each team is in contact. Players must be on their feet and over the ball. Heads and shoulders no lower than hips


A means of restarting play after a minor breach of rules. A scrum can involve up to eight players from each team, together in three rows and interconnecting with the free forwards from the opposing team