Rugby Balls - Which ball do I need?


From rugby training balls to rugby match balls, and every replica, supporter, skills training and beach ball in between, Gilbert rugby have every ball your could need. Which rugby ball is right for you? Read on through this article for a helping hand in making your decision.

Welcome to our guide of rugby balls from Gilbert Rugby, the leading experts in world rugby. This guide will take you through which balls are best for you and  for your club/school - give you a rundown on rugby balls size 5, size 4, size 3, what rugby balls are made of and where to buy them.

At Gilbert Rugby we also offer custom rugby balls in bulk buy, so get in touch with us at - for now, take a look at our guide below on the best rugby balls available for you.

Supporter vs Replica

A Gilbert Replica Ball is available with your favourite country/club badge and colours on the ball and is perfect for practicing training and handling at home. All Gilbert replica rugby balls include:

  • Trademark Gilbert ellipses, synonymous with rugby
  • Made with 3 Ply backing material to ensure great shape retention.
  • Standard Gilbert pimple grip pattern and a grippy rubber compound surface.
  • High quality hand stitched rugby balls with a synthetic latex bladder for optimum air retention.
  • All full licensed and endorsed by our international and professional club partners

A great option if you are looking to show your support for your club or country, whilst having a high quality ball to throw around with your children or mates.

Shop the full Replica ball range now >>>

The alternative to our replica balls are Supporter Balls - all Gilbert supporter balls offer:

  • A 2 ply backing material for goo shape retention 
  • Standard Gilbert pimple grip pattern with a grippy rubber compound surface.
  • Fitted with a synthetic latex bladder for optimum air retention.
  • All full licensed and endorsed by our international and professional club partners

These provide the ideal option if you are looking for a fun and affordable piece of club or international branded memorabilia. Gilbert supporter rugby balls are perfect for backyard rugby with family and friends.

Shop the full Supporter ball range now >>>

replica rugby balls            supporter rugby balls


Training vs Match ball

Gilbert training balls are made with cost and resilience in mind so they can withstand the rigours of multiple training sessions. They are made with

  • A higher percentage of synthetic rubber rather than natural rubber which makes them more robust
  • Hydratec moisture barrier to assist with moisture management
  • A patented triangular surface grip pattern exclusive to our G-TR 4000 training balls
  • A 3 ply backing material and hand stitched also on our G-TR 4000
  • The G-TR 3000 training ball offers an affordable 2-ply training ball with the same Gilbert quality stamp of approval

Shop the full Training ball range now >>>

Gilbert match balls on the other hand have been designed and produced with elite performance in mind. Due to the performance nature, match balls are more expensive and therefore are often used in team run-throughs and matches rather than regular training sessions. All Gilbert match balls are made with:

  • More natural rubber which naturally enhances the grip, essential for match play
  • A patented Truflight™ valve, positioned in seam. This in turn augments spin and flight
  • 3 ply backing material for optimum shape and energy transfer
  • Hand stitched for a perfect finish
  • The elite Sirius and Kinetica match balls include the Gilbert patented multi-matrix grip - the best grip of any rugby ball
  • The Barbarian 2.0, Atom and Omega match balls include our popular standard grip - a quality hard wearing pimple
All of these performance features make a match ball higher in price than a training ball.

Shop the full Match ball range now >>>


rugby match balls            rugby training balls



Rugby balls come in different sizes depending on the players’ age. This ensures handling skills are developed correctly and there is no difficulty in passing. The table below indicates the Gilbert rugby ball size against the appropriate age range.



Size 3 (Mini)

Under 7, U8, U9

Size 4 (Junior)

Under 10, U11, U12, U13, U14

Size 5 (Adult)

Under 15 and up.


Other ball sizes available include:

  • Super Midi (equivalent to size 2.5)
  • Midi (equivalent to size 2)
  • Mini (equivalent to size 1)

7 facts about Rugby Balls – source: World Rugby Laws

  1. The ball is oval and made of four panels.
  2. It has dimensions as shown here:Rugby Ball Dimensions
  3. It weighs 410-460 grams.
  4. Smaller balls may be used for matches between young players.
  5. The ball is made of leather or a suitable synthetic material. It may be treated to make it water resistant and easier to grip.
  6. Its air pressure at the start of play is 65.71-68.75 kilopascals, 0.67-0.70 kilograms per square centimetre or 9.5-10.0 pounds per square inch.
  7. Spare balls may be available during a match.