Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
I’m not going to break any news or alter paradigms with this article. I’m going to hit on a subject of concern for most ruggers in the USA… getting good gear to train in.
I have to first give a shout out to World Rugby Shop, Rugby Imports, American Rugby Outfitters, and the many other companies that have been supplying gear to us for years and years. They provide us with an invaluable service that any older rugger will be quick to say was lacking back in their heyday.
That said, we are still missing out on some really great gear. A flip through an overseas rugby magazine, such as Rugby World, displays tons of training jerseys, pants, shorts, t-shirts, pullovers, sweatshirts, and performance wear that have yet to be introduced to the American rugby player.
As rugby continues to transition into a performance sport here in the United States, one can only hope that we will see more of this type of gear and less of the “Give blood, play rugby” types of offerings that perpetuate the negative stereotype from which we’re trying to escape.
Ordering the cool swag that is advertised in Rugby World is out of the question unless you have plenty of money to burn. For those of us on a tighter budget, look no further than EBay. Yes, EBay… the online mega auction house.
EBay has become a buyer’s paradise and rugby gear is no different. EBay allows us to tap into the overseas sellers that are looking to liquidate stock and if you shop around, the prices are excellent.
A quick search will uncover all of the top brands… Canterbury, Kooga, Gilbert, Cotton Traders, you name it. Sure, you’ll pay a little extra for shipping from the U.K., but the savings you make on the actual item more than makes up for the extra shipping costs.
In the last few months I have picked up a pullover and two Canterbury jerseys (one is an International jersey) for less than $100 and that includes the shipping costs.
The International jersey alone would have cost almost that much had I purchased it through an online vendor. As an added bonus, every one of the items that I bought were brand spanking new, bagged, and with tags.
A word of caution though… beware of sellers from Malaysia and the Philippines, they sell knock-off jerseys that lack the quality you’d find in the real thing.
There are a lot of deals that can be had though and if you’re looking for some gear that isn’t available in the USA, EBay is the place to look.