What to wear to a rugby game

What to wear to a rugby match

Amon Fearon - November 11, 2022

The UK is a nation of rugby lovers. Whether it’s standing at the side of a muddy pitch at your local club or seated in the stands at Twickenham, many of us love nothing more than watching these powerful athletes go head-to-head in a test of speed, skill, physicality and team work.

If you have a match coming up, you might be wondering what to wear. Rugby clothing is more than just a fashion concern: watching a game can involve crisp temperatures, bracing winds, and the risk of muddy splashbacks. Players, even recreationally, should seek the best kits to endure the physical demands.

That’s why we put together this guide on what to wear to your next rugby match. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What to wear to watch a rugby match
  • Should you wear a team kit?
  • What about the flag?
  • Factoring in location
  • Preparing for the weather
  • What to wear to the rugby: women
  • What to wear to the rugby: men
  • What to wear if you’re playing

Let’s get started.

What to wear to watch the rugby match

There are a couple of questions to ask yourself when deciding what to wear at a rugby match:

  1. Do you support the team enough to wear their colours?
  2. What about the country?
  3. Where is the match?
  4. What’s the weather going to be like?

1. Should you wear a team kit?

Wearing team kits to sports games is a tradition almost as old as sport itself. Donning team colours is a great way to show support, and to make yourself part of a larger, united whole.

Harlequins rugby shirt

Our Harlequins men's 2022/23 replica home shirt: Bold colours that evoke the team’s history

There are many routes to a rugby match, though, from avid supporters to curious guests. If you’re a lifelong fan who’s been going to matches for years you probably have the kit on standby already, whether it’s home, away, or both. If not, you need to decide whether you feel invested enough to wear it.

2. Should you wear the country’s flag?

One of the joys of rugby is watching your country play, and with England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales having national teams, we really are spoiled for choice here in the UK.

Following on from the kit question then, is the question of whether or not you should adorn yourself in your country’s flag. This is a common sight at big rugby games: whether it be face paint, clothing, or a literal flag wrapped around your shoulders.


Your answer here will be determined by how vigorously you support your country’s team, and how willing you are to shell out a few quid on a quality flag.

3. Where is the match?

The next thing to think about is location. If you’ll be packed into a pub full of supporters, you can go easier on the layers than if you’ll be standing beside a pitch exposed to the elements. 


Watching a local rugby match outside means over an hour of standing about with little to warm you up, except a retreat to the clubhouse where you’ll see far less of the action. So bear that in mind when deciding what to wear: unless it’s a glorious summer’s day, we’d recommend a fairly reliable jacket.

In a stadium the story is fairly similar, except you’ll be sheltered a little better against the elements. Bear in mind the journey to get to the stadium, and the fact that you can bundle up a coat and stuff it under your seat if need be.

4. What’s the weather doing?

This last consideration is a little more practical, and based on a question that isn’t always easy to answer in the UK. One minute the weather forecast assures you it’ll be mild with next to no chance of rain…

The next minute, you look out the window and see sheets of rain drenching the world.

So whatever your initial answer to this question, we recommend erring on the side of caution. It never hurts to bring a hat, gloves, maybe even a scarf: especially when you consider that watching rugby involves sitting or standing relatively still, outdoors, for a long period of time.

What to wear to the rugby: women

Google “what to wear to the rugby female” and you’ll find tons of fashion bloggers showcasing attractive outfits they’ve put together for the occasion. We’re not going to provide that level of granular information - instead we’ll suggest a checklist of things that could be suitable to wear at a rugby match:

Outdoor game:

  • Sturdy, closed shoes: useful against mud, and warmer than open shoes
  • Trousers or leggings: comfortable, and more likely to keep you warm against the elements
  • Comfortable tee: whether or not it’s the team kit is up to you
  • A jumper or similar: your first layer of defence against the cold, something you can tie around your waist if you get too hot
  • A coat: if the weather is likely to be chilly, definitely take a coat. Something comfortable that you don’t mind getting muddy
  • A hat: another layer of defence against the weather
  • Gloves: lets you wave and cheer with warm fingers, as there’s nothing worse than fingers gone numb from wind cutting across them
  • Scarf: on an especially cold day you might want a scarf to keep the wind out 


If you’re watching indoors at a pub or in someone’s front room, just wear whatever feels appropriate. 

What to wear to the rugby: men

For men, the underlying considerations are exactly the same: where are you going, what’s the weather like, and do you want to wear the team kit?

Our list of recommendations is largely the same as a result, excepting leggings (not that there’s anything wrong with them: we’re just guessing most men won’t want to don a pair). Wear something comfortable that will keep you warm enough throughout, and maybe which has the team logo or colour, depending how much support you want to show.

Lightweight insulated jackets from Castore, the kit maker brand of Harlequins, Saracens and Scarlets rugby clubs.


What do you wear to play a game

If you’ll be out on the pitch, it probably won’t be up to you to decide what to wear. But if you’re curious about what rugby players wear, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Scrum caps: this is an optional piece of protective gear that covers a rugby player’s ears
  • Mouth guards: rugby doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a full contact sport, and rugby authorities have made mouth guards mandatory as a result. These little bits of plastic protect against all sorts of injury
  • Shorts: as a full contact sport rugby carries a higher risk of shorts being grabbed and potentially pulled down or off, which is why rugby shorts require a tighter fit than those that footballers might wear
  • Jerseys: rugby jerseys have a collar, making them easily distinguishable from the tops other sportsmen wear. Jerseys are in team colours, whether for home or away, and will display the team’s sponsors. Jerseys need to be tucked into shorts during games.
  • Socks: knee-high socks in team colours are an integral part of a rugby player’s outfit. Not only do they look snazzy, but they offer protection against blisters.
  • Rugby boots: while the word boot might bring to mind something that goes above the ankle, rugby boots look like trainers. They’re wider than football boots, and have studs built into the sole to offer grip on muddy ground


If you’ve got a rugby match coming up, hopefully now you’re a little more clued up on what rugby clothing to wear. Don’t spend too much time fretting about the fashion, though: rugby is about the atmosphere and the sportsmanship.