It may surprise a lot of people but there are rugby brands available other than Gilbert. If you are looking for the Best Training Rugby Balls, then you should consider all brands, not just Gilbert. It is true that almost every player in the UK will have played or trained with a Gilbert rugby ball at some point in their life. The qualities of the Gilbert training balls are fantastic, that can’t be denied. However, I’m just suggesting you might want to compare with other brands.
Gilbert dominates the market around the world and their brand is seen on balls in almost every major tournament. They have 2 training balls both with catchy names – GTR3000 and the GTR4000. The GTR4000 rugby ball is available in so many colour choices that clubs tend to have different colours per size. This helps keep the balls per size at the end of a busy mixed training session.
I haven’t included the Rhino Reflex Training Ball in the comparison table as it isn’t a full sized rugby ball (It is half length). However I would suggest you consider one as it is a great training aid for use at home.
Training Rugby Balls
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Apart from Gilbert other brands producing high quality training rugby balls are Mitre, Canterbury, Rhino and Lusum. There are a number of others available and the list is quite extensive. All of these have a training ball that should be considered for quality, price and aesthetics. Mitre and Canterbury are both owned by the same parent company so it is likely the balls are made in the same factory to a similar specification.
As far as I am aware all decent rugby balls are manufactured in Jalhandhar, India. Most, if not all are probably made in the same factory. If not, then the rubber plant that makes the core product is probably made in the same place. Training balls are manufactured with either a 2 ply or 3 ply outer layer. The 3 ply is the most durable of the 2 but is slightly more expensive. In my opinion it is worth paying the extra.