In almost every televised game you see a Gilbert Match Rugby ball in use. If you are looking for the Best match Rugby Balls then your 1st thought might be to buy a Gilbert ball. Our review system is designed so you can easily compare with other brands. The quality of the Gilbert rugby balls is as good as you can get however, there may be better value had elsewhere. The best match rugby ball in my opinion is the latest Gilbert Barbarian ball. The grip and colour scheme are stand head and shoulders above all others. It is on the pricy side though at £55
As we review other models from Mitre, Rhino, Lusum and Canterbury, we should get a more balanced table. Entry level match balls are mainly 3 ply and there is very little difference between them and the best training balls. This is probably why some clubs use the top training balls in junior matches rather than buying a match ball. The best match balls have at least 4 ply outer layer and an improved bladder too. This justifies the increased cost in some ways.
The very best match rugby balls have a valve that is ‘in-line’. This means it’s placed within the seam of the ball. Training balls tend to have the valve placed in the middle of a panel. The ‘in-line’ valve makes the ball more aerodynamic and so it flies through the air more consistently. Kickers also prefer the balls with ‘in-line’ valves, as they react in the same way, time after time. Match balls are more expensive and the grip might not last as long as a training ball. Some brands are experimenting with the style of grip used on the rugby balls. It would be great to get one ball that plays exactly the same in all weather conditions.