Which rugby shirt is best?

Rugby football, often referred to simply as rugby, is a team sport that dates back to the late 1800s. It involves rules similar to American football and European soccer. In fact, American football is partly based on rugby. The sport is very physical and unlike football and soccer, the players do not wear any padding or helmets. The sport is also responsible for creating a wave of fashionable shirts that players first wore in the early days. 

The best rugby shirt is the Guinness Rugby Jersey which combines two iconic institutions: rugby and Guinness beer. This is a long sleeve shirt with black and cream stripes and a cream collar.

What to know before you buy a rugby shirt

Rugby game rules

Like many ball-based games, the main objective of rugby is to use your team to move a rugby ball down a large open pitch (field). Traditionally there are 15 players on each side known as rugby fifteens. Each player has their own position and responsibilities on the field from leading the charge to flanking and providing support. The end of the pitch is called the try zone and scoring a point is called a try. Each team must move the ball down the pitch and can only make short passes laterally or backward. After a successful try, there’s also the conversion which is a drop-kicked ball through the tall poles in the try zone. 

Rugby uniforms

Rugby uniforms take their design from the look of the times in the 1800s. Tech fabrics didn’t exist and maintaining style was everything back then. So, players first wore long sleeve collar shirts made of wool. Eventually, the wool was replaced by heavy knit cotton which is what most modern rugby shirts still use. Professional rugby jerseys on the other hand use tech fabrics like polyester and other moisture-wicking materials to keep them cool and comfortable. 

Rugby shirts as fashion

While rugby shirts were mainly worn for sport in the early days, today they’ve made a comeback as a vintage fashion accessory. Actually, this is their second comeback in the style world. In the 1990s, rugby shirts became popular as a casual look for men and women. The wide colorful stripes and collars went perfectly with high-waisted jeans for a sporty, preppy look. Today, rugby shirts are making yet another appearance as more looks from the 90s come back in style. 

What to look for in a quality rugby shirt

Guinness beer logo

Beer and football go together like peanut butter and chocolate. So it’s no surprise that rugby, a game that’s very popular in the United Kingdom, has fans who also love beer. For this reason, Guinness has become a staple partner with the Rugby Football Union as one of its main sponsors. You can find several different rugby shirts that sport the Guinness logo. They range from short sleeve shirts to hooded sweatshirts and striped long sleeve shirts.

Wide stripes

There are a few defining factors of rugby shirts. First, there’s the collar which gives the shirt its preppy look. Then there are the long sleeves which were originally used to protect the players’ arms from scraping the ground. Finally, and arguably most importantly, there are the wide colorful stripes. These stripes make a rugby shirt stand out against a standard long sleeve collared shirt. There are usually three to four large stripes that go horizontally across the chest on the front and back. They also encompass the sleeves as well which adds to the sporty look. 

Professional rugby jerseys

While most rugby shirts represent a generic preppy look that reminds you of old-school rugby uniforms, they often aren’t actually jerseys. Modern-day professionals wear something much different than what is traditionally known as a rugby shirt. However, both pieces do represent the sport itself. If you want an alternate way to support rugby, look for a high-quality professional rugby jersey. These shirts are often short sleeve instead of long sleeve and are made with lighter materials like polyester and nylon. 

How much you can expect to spend on a rugby shirt

Rugby shirts cost between $37-$75.

Rugby shirt FAQ

Are rugby shirts still in style?

A. Rugby shirts first gained popularity decades ago but like many other pieces of fashion, they’ve circled back around to be relevant again. You can still wear rugby shirts today as a casual look with a pair of jeans or slacks. 

Are you supposed to tuck in a rugby shirt?

A. Professional rugby players are often required to tuck their jerseys into their shorts. However, most people do not tuck in their shirts if they are just wearing them casually. 

What are the best rugby shirts to buy?

Top rugby shirt

Guinness Rugby Jersey

Guinness Rugby Jersey

What you need to know: This high-quality long sleeve shirt from Guinness will make you feel like a fashionable vintage rugby player.

What you’ll love: The shirt matches the colors of the famous frothy beer. It comes with a black base color and cream highlights including two thin stripes across the chest. There’s also a cream collar which represents the froth at the top of a Guinness beer. You can even spot a Guinness beer patch on the left sleeve. 

What you should consider: This shirt isn’t designed for actual rugby gameplay. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top rugby shirt for money

Long Sleeve Rugby Polo Shirt

Long Sleeve Rugby Polo Shirt

What you need to know: If you want a simple, basic rugby shirt that sports that classic striped look, this is the one for you. 

What you’ll love: This shirt comes in five different colorways, including three with a white base and different colored stripes. It’s made with 100% cotton and has two hidden buttons just under the collar. The ring-spun weave means it has the perfect mix between softness and durability. 

What you should consider: This long sleeve is failure lightweight so it won’t keep you as warm as other winter garments. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Adidas All Blacks Rugby Jersey

Adidas All Blacks Rugby Jersey

What you need to know: This All Blacks jersey from Adidas is the official uniform of the famous New Zealand rugby team. 

What you’ll love: This jersey represents the most well-known competitive rugby team in the world. It has the iconic white silver fern logo on the left chest, the Adidas logo on the right and the team’s sponsor AIG in the center. The shirt boasts a 100% cotton weave, short sleeves and a black collar with a white rim. 

What you should consider: The jersey is designed to be form-fitting for better athletic performance.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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