Rugby is a very physical and dangerous sport. Players need protective gear such as shoulder pads and headgear to help protect them and prolong their playing career. Headgear and shoulder pads need IRB labels to be allowed to be used in game play. Without the label referees will not allow them to be used.
Headgear or scrum-caps are lightly padded helmets that cover the head and ears and have Velcro straps underneath the chin. They have laces in the back to ensure a correct fit. They help reduce concussions and abrasions of the head and ears. They are often used by forwards and anyone who makes hard tackles and hard contact.
Shoulder pads come in a variety of styles. They can be full length or half body, that is cut off below the chest. They can have sleeves or be sleeve-less. The style is based on personal preference. The padding can only be 1cm thick when uncompressed. They can take some of the pressure of hard tackles and scrums.
Rugby gloves are also called grip mitts. They are fingerless gloves that provide additional grip on the hands to help catching and handling balls. They are very light-weight and breathable. They are particularly useful in wet weather conditions.