Rhino has launched the Rhino Zephyr, the first ‘eco-rugby ball’ made from recycled tyres.

The world No.1 in technical rugby equipment and official match ball supplier to Asia Rugby, MLR and Rugby Europe has broken new ground with the launch of the Rhino Zephyr, a training ball made using old bicycle, car and lorry tyres.

Available in sizes 3-5 and with a unique ‘tyre’ grip, the Zephyr is the first of a new generation of rugby balls and is 80% made from recycled tyres. It's set to be followed by a premium training ball, the Rhino Recyclone; a new match ball, the Rhino Galaxy; and the Rhino Vortex Recycled, the ‘eco’ equivalent of its elite-level training ball used across Rugby Asia, Rugby Europe, America’s Major League Rugby, and South America’s Super Liga Americana de Rugby.

Rhino Zephyr

Recycled tyre rubber makes up for 80% of the Zephyr; 70% of the Recylone; and 60% of the match balls, Galaxy and Vortex Recycled. “We’ve been working on this for some time as part of our plans to develop more sustainable rugby training products,” explains Dave Reynish, managing director, Rhino UK. “To be able to offer an affordable training ball that’s also 80% recycled is a great achievement, and we’ll continue to look at ways to make the entire range more sustainable.”

The launch of the first recycled ball also goes further to reinforce Rhino’s position as one of the leading brands in the rugby ball market. Rhino’s partnership with Asia Rugby and Rugby Europe means that 80 of the world’s rugby-playing nations play competitive matches with the Rhino Vortex Elite, which is also used by the top sides in the Americas, and, most recently, for the Varsity Matches at Twickenham.

The Rhino Zephyr has been tested by sides of all levels before being released, including former Osprey Ben John, aka The Rugby Trainer, who said: "It's brilliant that Rhino have pioneered the recycled rugby ball, especially making it accessible for all levels with sizes 3-5. With the tyre-like grip, it's perfect for training sessions, sharpening up your  skills and you're also doing your bit for the environment."

The Rhino Zephyr training ball is currently available in a bundle only, with 20 balls (sizes 3-5) for £120, including a recycled ball net. Shop

The Rhino Recyclone training ball launches 31.05.22. Individual balls (sizes 3-5) start at £16.95 for one ball, £150 for ten balls (£15 per ball) or £350 for 25 (£14 per ball).

The Rhino Galaxy match ball launches 31.05.22. Individual balls (sizes 4-5) from £49.95 online for one ball.

The Rhino Vortex Recycled match ball launches 31.05.22. Individual balls (size 5 only) from £79.95 online for one ball.

How a recycled rugby ball is made...

  1. Tyres are first cut in small pieces
  2. These pieces are crushed and micro cut again
  3. Micro-cut pieces are put in a hot mixer and turned into thick rubber compound paste
  4. The paste is mixed with minimum 20% of highest grade virgin natural rubber
  5. Compound is turned into a ‘sheet’ and laminated with multiple layers of fabric
  6. The sheet is hardened in a hot press and cured
  7. Panels are cut from the sheet, fitted with a bladder and stitched together
Alex Mead