Rugby Cleat Studs: Types, Rules, and Tips for Using Studs In Rugby

All Types of Studs For Rugby Cleats

The most important components of the rugby cleats are the studs.

The studs are the ones that provide the grip, stability, and traction on the pitch. They are attached to the rugby cleat outsole and have the first contact with the surface.

The studs for rugby cleats differ according to shape, size, material, and others. Each type of stud has its own role in rugby.

Let’s start our exploration.

What to look for in studs for rugby cleats?

The studs are crucial for rugby players to perform at their best. When choosing studs for rugby cleats, here are some things to look for:

Studs Length

The length of the studs varies depending on the type of surface on which the game takes place. For wet and soft surfaces, rugby players must equip themselves with longer studs. These longer studs can dig into the soft ground, giving the player enough traction for explosive movements.

For firm or hard ground, and even artificial turf, the shorter studs are more suitable. If you were to play with longer studs on firm ground, they would bother you and affect your performance.

The rugby position plays also a role in choosing the length of the stud. For example, front-row players need extra grip, while backs require agility and mobility.

The studs for rugby cleats vary from 0.07 to 0.82 inches. Among the most common heights for studs are 0.31, 0.39, 0.47, 0.59, 0.70, and 0.82 inches.

Studs Construction

Studs are of two types when it comes explicitly to the type of their construction. These two types are called molded studs and screw-in studs. The screw-in lets the player adjust as he likes and replace them. The molded ones come already attached to the outsole. I will cover these types of cleats in more detail below.

Studs Material

The studs can be made from plastics, rubber, and metal. The plastic studs are the lightest, while the heaviest are the metal ones.

The hard-ground rugby cleats have usually hard plastic studs. The soft-ground rugby cleats feature some studs made from a  combination of plastic and metal. For example, rugby cleats for soft ground can have 5 plastic studs and 6 metal studs for a better grip on wet surfaces.

I still want to point out one thing here: metal studs are not allowed in youth and amateur rugby leagues due to safety reasons.

Shape of studs

Studs can come in a conical or bladed shape. The bladed ones are thinner and sharper. The conical studs for rugby cleats have a more circular and less pointed shape. The conical studs are more common and popular in rugby than the bladed ones. However, some players appreciate the level of traction that the blades offer.

Types of Studs

As we already saw, the studs differ according to length, material, shape, and construction.

The stud material must comply with regulations. In general, the studs are made of aluminum or hard plastic.

In length, they can vary between 0.07 inches to 0.82 inches.

Regarding their shape and construction, they require an even closer look.

Screw-in studs for rugby cleats

Screw-in studs for rugby cleats

The screw-in studs can be removed and replaced easily. They unscrew easily and new ones can be screwed in just as easily. They come in a variety of configurations and heights.

They are suitable for those who play on different pitches, or for those who want to have the opportunity to update the studs of the rugby cleats.

Molded studs for rugby cleats

The molded studs are made of one piece of plastic or rubber. They come directly molded onto the sole of the rugby cleats and cannot be changed. They are lightweight and offer good traction. They are the most common type of studs among rugby players.

Bladed studs for rugby cleats

Bladed studs are another similar form of molded ones. What sets them apart from the molded studs is the blade-like shape. They are also attached directly to the sole of the cleat, but they guarantee a better grip, traction, and stability. Rugby players can opt for rugby cleats with bladed studs on firm and hard ground surfaces.

Unlike others, bladed studs are quite dangerous. Their triangular shape and the sharp edge that provides grip on firm ground can injure other players in the event of a collision between two players.

You should always choose the right studs for the ground surface you play on to minimize the risk of injury.

Conical studs for rugby cleats

The conical studs are made of rubber, plastic, or metal and have a conical shape. The conical shape provides traction and stability to the player, and at the same time, they are safer. Compared to some rugby cleats with bladed studs, the ones with conical studs are less likely to injure other players.

Some players prefer them because they are not prone to clogging with mud or grass, but also because they increase agility on the field.

Table 1. Types of Studs: Advantages & Disadvantages
Type of studsDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantages
Screw-inScrew-in studs can be adjusted. They can be removed and replaced with new or even different ones.They have great versatility due to the fact that they can be replaced.Longer time to prepare them and to place the new screw-in studs.
MoldedMolded studs are attached to the outsole of the cleat.They are lightweight and ready to use.They cannot be customized.
BladedThey have a triangular shape and a sharp edge.Good for firm ground.Not ideal for soft ground.
ConicalThey have a cone shape and a rounded edge.Good for all ground types.They do not provide the best traction.

How to change the studs of rugby cleats?

To change the studs of rugby cleats, you first need some tools.

A screwdriver or pliers will work pretty well. Then you need the new studs that you want to replace the old ones.

Try to remove the old studs using one tool. If you use the pliers, grab the old stud and turn it counterclockwise. Do this until you feel that the old stud becomes loose. Then remove it. At this point, you can continue removing all the old studs, or you can try and remove and replace them one by one.

After you finish all your studs, I recommend you test the rugby cleats with the new studs. Be sure they are secure.

Rugby Rules on Studs

To keep rugby a safe sport, World Rugby has created certain rules related to the wearing of studs and their type. These rules are found in World Rugby Regulation 12, where are all the other guidelines related to players’ dress code.

The key specifications from World Rugby for studs are:

  • The stud must not be longer than 0.82 inches
  • No sharp edges on studs are allowed
  • The studs should have at least a 0.39 inches diameter at the end
  • Studs must be rounded and smooth
  • Studs must be made of safe materials that are not sharp or dangerous to other players

Rugby Rules on Studs - Chart

According to the other laws of rugby, a match official has the right to ask players not properly equipped to leave the rugby pitch. This can happen even before the match starts. So try to take into account everything mentioned in Regulation 12.

There are many countries where rugby is popular. It is important to know that these rules may vary between different rugby associations. You should always check the regulations specific to your region too.

Final Thoughts

The studs are a vital part of rugby cleats. Without these, rugby cleats won’t be able to provide stability, grip, and traction.

The position you have and the type of surface will help you determine what studs will work the best for you.

About the author: Danny Francesco

Danny is a professional when it comes to rugby.

He graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education and played rugby in Italy in amateur competitions. Keep reading...

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