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

Kit yourself out in champion rugby wears, including boots, shirts and protective gear, for both your training sessions and all-important matches.
Our selection of rugby boots will get you ready for victory, with boots available from the biggest names on the pitch including Canterbury, Kooga and adidas. Soft ground, firm ground and elite boots are suitable and available for adult, junior and child players, bringing the latest technologies including lightweight builds to utilise speed, abrasion resistance, rearfoot stability and shock absorption.
You can wear your pride and play like a pro in an official rugby shirt available here. With Canterbury, Macron, Umbro, adidas and Le Coq Sportif bringing international and national strips, including those of the British and Irish Lions, All Blacks, England, Wales, Italy and Ireland, the latest in sporting technologies, comforts and cuts are all available to assist you in looking, feeling and playing the part.
Keep yourself in the game, right up until the final whistle, with our vital rugby safety gear. Explore our full range here, including body armour, scrum caps and gum shields. All protective wear gives freedom of movement but a full peace of mind, with KooGa, Canterbury, Opro and Sondico understanding your needs and crafted to make a difference. Shock absorbing technologies and flexible padding have been prepped to see through even the toughest of matches.
With a champion collection of rugby equipment and accessories, both training day and match day is set to be as winning success. Get fully prepared with rugby balls from KooGa and Gilbert, studs from Sondico, shoulder pads from Patrick, ball carriers, headguards and kicking tees.
Ensure you’re fully energised pre-match, during play and post-game with the right vitamins and minerals from our specialist sports nutrition collection.

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