In the rugged world of rugby, where players battle for every inch on the field, the question arises: can you wear gloves in rugby? Yes, certain gloves are permitted in rugby, but there are nuances and regulations to consider.

At UKRugbyStore, we delve into this topic to provide clarity and insight.

Throughout this article, we'll explore the legality of gloves in rugby, including the specific laws and guidelines players must follow.

Whether you're a seasoned player or a curious fan, join us as we unravel the mysteries surrounding gloves in the exhilarating sport of rugby.

What this article covers:

According to World Rugby Regulations, gloves are indeed permitted on the rugby field, provided they meet specific standards.

However, not all gloves make the cut, and players must adhere to strict guidelines to avoid penalties.

At UKRugbyStore, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of rugby accessories and equipment and their relationship with the law of Rugby Union, so let's dive into the rulebook to shed light on this matter.

Rugby Laws About Gloves

When it comes to what to wear to a rugby game, gloves occupy a grey area in rugby's rulebook. Gloves are permitted as long as they meet certain specifications.

That means that not all types of gloves are allowed, and there are specific guidelines players must follow.

What Happens If A Player Wears Full-Length Gloves?

Wearing full-length gloves in rugby is a contentious issue. While some players may prefer the added warmth and protection, these gloves often violate rugby regulations.

Full-length gloves can provide an unfair advantage, making it easier for players to grip the ball or tackle opponents.

Consequently, referees may penalise players for wearing full-length gloves that do not comply with regulations.

What's The Problem With Full Fingers On Gloves?

The main concern with full-fingered gloves is their potential to enhance grip and ball control, which could lead to an unfair advantage for the wearer.

As a result, rugby authorities have imposed regulations to maintain fairness and uphold the integrity of the game.

can rugby players wear gloves

In the early-to-mid 2000s, fingerless gloves once reigned supreme as go-to rugby accessories for players seeking both protection and improved performance on the field.

Back then, these gloves were the epitome of rugby style, offering a balance between functionality and fashion.

Players embraced fingerless gloves for their ability to provide a degree of protection against the elements while allowing for enhanced grip during gameplay. However, as time marched on, the rugby landscape evolved, and fingerless gloves gradually fell out of favour.

Reasons For Decline

  1. Fashion evolution: Rugby fashion trends shifted away from fingerless gloves as players sought sleeker, minimalist gear.
  2. Performance considerations: While fingerless gloves offered benefits in certain situations, advancements in grip technology and materials rendered them less necessary for players seeking optimal performance.
  3. Changing preferences: As player preferences evolved, fingerless gloves lost their status as must-have accessories, giving way to alternative options for hand protection and performance enhancement.

The decline of fingerless gloves in rugby signifies the dynamic nature of the sport and the ever-changing demands of players.

The additional stigma attached when a player wearing fingerless gloves still managed to drop the ball didn't help its cause either.

While they may have faded from the spotlight, their legacy remains embedded in the rich tapestry of rugby history.

Why Don't Rugby Players Wear Mitts?

When it comes to rugby uniforms history, the absence of fingerless gloves or mitts on players' hands sparks curiosity.

Let's explore the reasons behind this trend shift.

Gloves Are Not Good In Mud

Rugby's unpredictable weather and muddy fields pose challenges for fingerless gloves.

When saturated with water and mud, these gloves lose their grip, making them ineffective for ball handling.

Gloves Don't Last

The intense physicality of rugby takes a toll on gear, including gloves. With frequent tackles and scrums, gloves wear out quickly, necessitating frequent replacements that can be costly and inconvenient for players.

Gloves Can Get You Caught!

The fabric of fingerless gloves presents a potential hazard during gameplay. In the heat of action, gloves can snag on opponents' clothing or equipment, leading to unintended consequences such as injury or disadvantage for the wearer.

Alternatives To Gloves

Despite the decline in fingerless glove popularity, rugby players have embraced alternative solutions.

Grip-enhancing tapes and sprays offer a more durable and versatile option for hand protection, ensuring players maintain a firm grip on the ball regardless of weather conditions.

As junior rugby enthusiasts embark on their sporting journey, safeguarding their hands is paramount. At UKRugbyStore, we proudly present our England RFU Luxury Touchscreen Gloves designed specifically for juniors.

Comfort And Durability

Crafted with precision and passion, our fingerless gloves and mitts prioritise comfort without compromising on durability.

Engineered with high-quality materials, they offer a snug fit that allows for seamless movement, ensuring junior players can manoeuvre the field with ease.

Optimal Performance

Designed to elevate performance, our gloves provide optimal grip and control during gameplay.

Whether securing the ball or executing precise passes, our gloves empower junior athletes to unleash their full potential on the field, enhancing their overall experience and skill development.

Safety And Style

Embrace safety and style with our range of fingerless gloves and mitts. From vibrant designs to classic styles, our collection caters to every preference, ensuring junior players not only feel protected but also look the part as they dominate the rugby pitch.

Elevate your game with UKRugbyStore's fingerless gloves and mitts, where comfort, durability, performance, safety, and style converge seamlessly for the ultimate junior rugby experience.

rugby equipment


In the dynamic landscape of rugby gear, the gloves debate persists, stirring intrigue and conversation.

Although gloves bring advantages, they also present hurdles and constraints for players.

By grasping the regulations, investigating alternatives, and making savvy decisions, rugby devotees can confidently tackle the nuances of hand protection with flair and assurance.

Ready to elevate your game? Join the UKRugbyStore family and let's make every game a victory. Visit us at UKRugbyStore now! 

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March 13, 2024 — Alex Taylor