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Rugby Ball Buying Guide

Why Gilbert?

Built on the values of - Trust. Teamwork. Inclusivity. Performance and Passion, Gilbert is at the heart of the game with the famous Gilbert rugby ball at the centre of rugby matches across the World. We are committed to global distinction and excellence. We have also continue to develop rugby balls and stay true to our ethos of high quality and ethically sourced at a reasonable price.

Rugby Ball Size

There are a number of different sizes of rugby balls available. Perfect for players of different ages and developed to target and improve the development of handling skills at training. This table indicates the Gilbert rugby ball size against the appropriate age range.

Gilbert rugby balls size (approximated to the nearest mm) are demonstrated below: 

Size 5 - Length 285mm, Girth 585mm

Size 4 - Length 275m, Girth 545mm

Size 3 – Length 255mm, Girth 535mm

Midi - Length 215mm, Girth 420mm

Mini – Length 160mm, Girth 315mm


Gilbert Rugby Match Balls have been designed and developed with performance in mind. Due to this performance nature, match balls are more expensive than training rugby balls. Depending on the level of play, it is often common for rugby clubs, schools and players to only use match balls in pre-match team run-throughs and matches rather than in all training sessions.

Materials - Gilbert match balls are made with a higher concentration of natural rubber which enhances and improves the grip without compromising flight performance - essential for match play. 

Feature - A feature that all Gilbert match balls benefit from is our patented Truflight™ valve. Positioned in seam, the way that the valve is added during production is unique to Gilbert and helps augment spin and flight during play.

Gilbert is the match ball of choice of World Rugby, South AfricaEngland RugbyFrance RugbyAustraliaWalesArgentinaIrelandScotlandJapanUSACanada and many more of the top Unions in the World.

Shop Match Balls

Gilbert Rugby Training Balls have been developed with a combination of cost, quality, performance and longevity in mind, so they can withstand the rigours of a full season of training sessions.

Materials - Gilbert training balls are made with a higher percentage of synthetic rubber which makes them a more robust ball able to withstand the rigours of regular use during rugby training.

Grip - Usually, a higher percentage of synthetic rubber reduces the natural grip properties, therefore, to counteract this Gilbert have introduced a patented triangular surface grip pattern on our G-TR 4000 training balls. This represents a major step forward in grip technology on training balls and tests have repeatedly shown that this new more defined pattern is harder wearing and allows players more surface area contact with the ball when handling.

All Gilbert training balls are hand stitched and benefit from our Hydratec technology which helps reduce water ingress along the seams of the ball.


Gilbert have developed a dedicated collection of balls targeted to help rugby coaches and players with their skill development.

Control-a-Balls catch/pass skill system, made up of 5 different balls (Match, Light, Heavy, Gripless and Unstable). Each ball looks identical, but they each have unique properties to challenge and improve player awareness and skill levels. Developed with former Springboks coach, Richie Gray.

Rebounder Ball - a 'half-ball' designed for solus use, without a partner. Pass off either hand, against a wall to improve handling. Match ball weight, with Truflight™ valve.

Morgan Pass Developer - an overweight training ball to develop wrist strength and passing distance.

Reflex Trainer - a handling aid to improve balance and passing on the run.

Size 4.5 transition balls - available as an Atom Match Ball or G-TR4000 Training Ball, the size 4.5 balls are ideal as a transition tool for players moving from size 4 balls to size 5.


A Gilbert Replica Ball is perfect for those wanting a high quality ball to practice training and handling at home.

All Gilbert replica rugby balls include the trademark Gilbert ellipses and are made with 3 Ply backing material to ensure great shape retention. Each high-grade Gilbert replica ball also includes the standard Gilbert pimple grip pattern and a grippy rubber compound surface.

These balls are high quality hand stitched rugby balls with a synthetic latex bladder for optimum air retention.

Gilbert offer a full range of International Replica BallsClub Replica Balls and Tournament Replica Balls.


A Gilbert Supporter Ball is the perfect rugby ball for memorabilia or a light hearted game of rugby at home with family and friends.

Supporter balls have different designs to the replica balls making them easy to spot, and they use a 2 ply backing material for shape retention.

Gilbert offer a full range of International Supporter BallsClub Supporter Balls and Tournament Supporter Balls.


The coloured oval ellipses and coloured 'star shaped ends' featured on standard rugby balls is registered intellectual property of Gilbert Rugby.

All Gilbert ellipse balls carrying the oval trims synonymous with rugby, always include our renowned 'X' 'GILBERT' branding on 2 opposite panels.

You will notice on all official Gilbert ellipse rugby balls the small text The oval trim device is a registered Trademark of Gilbert Rugby.