What type of rugby ball is best?

In this article we’ll explain the differences between the different types of rugby balls.



Rugby, a thrilling and physically demanding sport, has captured the hearts of millions of fans and players worldwide. With its rich history and distinct styles, such as Rugby Union and Rugby League, the sport offers a unique and exciting experience for everyone involved. One of the most critical aspects of rugby, often overlooked, is the selection of the right rugby ball. The type of ball used can significantly impact both practice sessions and official matches, making it essential to choose the appropriate one for each situation.

In this blog, we will delve into the two main types of rugby balls—trainer balls and match balls. We will discuss their different purposes, construction, quality, and degradation rates, helping you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect ball for your needs.


Rugby Trainer Ball


    • Designed for practice sessions and training drills

Trainer balls are specifically designed for practice sessions and training drills, helping players develop essential skills such as handling, passing, and kicking. These balls provide an excellent tool for coaches and players to work on various techniques and strategies, ultimately preparing them for competitive matches.

    • Used for skill development and improving handling, passing, and kicking

A rugby trainer ball plays a vital role in the development of a player’s abilities. By using the right trainer ball during practice, players can focus on refining their skills, enhancing their overall performance during official matches.


Construction and materials

    • Made from durable materials to withstand frequent use

Rugby trainer balls are made from more durable materials than match balls to withstand the wear and tear of frequent use during practice sessions. These materials ensure the ball maintains its shape and performance, despite being exposed to rough conditions and continuous handling.

    • Grip pattern and surface texture may differ from match balls

Trainer balls often have a slightly different grip pattern or surface texture compared to match balls. This variation provides better handling in various weather conditions, making it easier for players to develop and refine their skills.

Quality and price

    • More affordable than match balls

One significant advantage of rugby trainer balls is their affordability. Since they are primarily used for practice, they tend to be more budget-friendly than match balls, making them accessible to a broader range of players and teams.

    • Quality can vary, with some high-quality trainer balls available

While the price of trainer balls is generally lower than that of match balls, it’s essential to note that their quality can vary. Some high-quality trainer balls offer better performance and durability, making them a worthwhile investment for dedicated players and teams.

Rugby Ball - Trainer Astro Size 5

The best value/quality rugby trainer ball you’ll find in the market. Has standard construction quality and it’s great for light training sessions.

Rugby Ball Match Stellar Size 5

With better construction quality than the Astro, the Stellar rugby trainer ball it’s made to withstand the toughest training sessions.

Rugby Match Ball


    • Used during official rugby matches and competitions

Rugby match balls are reserved for official rugby matches and competitions. These balls are made to meet the specifications and requirements set by rugby governing bodies, such as World Rugby, ensuring a consistent and fair playing experience for all teams involved.

    • Must meet specifications and requirements set by rugby governing bodies

To maintain the integrity and competitiveness of the sport, rugby match balls must adhere to strict guidelines set forth by governing bodies. These regulations dictate the size, weight, shape, and materials of the ball, ensuring that each match ball offers a consistent performance during official games.

Construction and materials

    • Made from high-quality materials for optimal performance

Rugby match balls are made from the highest quality materials to provide the best possible performance during official matches. These materials ensure that the ball maintains a consistent shape, balance, and grip pattern throughout the game, allowing players to showcase their skills and abilities effectively.

    • Consistent shape, balance, and grip pattern

The construction of a rugby match ball focuses on providing a consistent playing experience. This consistency is achieved through a precise manufacturing process that ensures the ball’s shape, balance, and grip pattern are uniform, allowing for fair competition and predictable gameplay.

Quality and price

    • Typically more expensive due to higher quality materials and construction

As rugby match balls are made from high-quality materials and require a more precise manufacturing process, they are generally more expensive than trainer balls. This higher price point reflects the superior performance and consistency that match balls offer during official games.

    • Ensures fair and competitive matches

Investing in a high-quality match ball is essential for maintaining fair and competitive matches. A well-constructed match ball allows players to perform at their best, ensuring that the outcome of the game is determined by skill and strategy rather than inconsistencies in the ball’s performance.

Degradation rate

    • Degrades more quickly than trainer balls

Despite being made from high-quality materials, rugby match balls tend to degrade more quickly than trainer balls. This quicker degradation is due to the more intense conditions and higher levels of impact that match balls are exposed to during official games.

    • Needs to be replaced more frequently due to exposure to intense conditions

As a result of their faster degradation rate, rugby match balls need to be replaced more frequently than trainer balls. This factor is essential to consider when investing in a match ball, as maintaining optimal performance during official games is crucial.


Rugby Match Ball 'Meteor' Size 4

Choosing the Right Rugby Ball

Factors to consider

    • Intended use (training vs. official matches)

When selecting a rugby ball, it’s crucial to consider its intended use. For training and skill development, a durable rugby trainer ball is suitable, while a rugby match ball should be used for official matches and competitions.

    • Durability and degradation rate

Understanding the different degradation rates of trainer and match balls is essential when making your decision. While trainer balls are designed for more extended use and regular practice sessions, match balls may need to be replaced more frequently due to their exposure to intense conditions during games.

    • Price and quality

Finding the right balance between price and quality is crucial when choosing a rugby ball. While it’s essential to invest in a high-quality match ball for competitions, trainer balls can vary in quality and price, allowing you to find one that fits your budget and training needs.

Recommendations for different scenarios

    • Using a durable trainer ball for practice sessions

For practice sessions and skill development, opt for a durable and well-constructed trainer ball that can withstand frequent use and rough conditions. This choice will allow players to refine their skills effectively while preserving the lifespan of the ball.

    • Investing in a high-quality match ball for competitions

For official matches and competitions, it’s essential to invest in a high-quality match ball that meets the specifications and requirements set by rugby governing bodies. This investment will ensure fair and competitive matches, allowing players to showcase their skills and abilities in the best possible conditions.


Understanding the differences between rugby trainer balls and rugby match balls is crucial for players, coaches, and teams looking to maximize their performance on the field. By selecting the appropriate ball for each situation—whether it’s a durable trainer ball for practice sessions or a high-quality match ball for official games—you can ensure the best possible playing experience and help players reach their full potential. So, explore the various options available and find the right ball that suits your needs, we got a ball for you for each scenario.

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