8 things to tick off your rugby club's pre-season checklist

8 things to tick off your rugby club's pre-season checklist

With September just around the corner, the serious business of the new rugby season is upon us, but is your club match-ready? Here are eight things to tick off your checklist.

 

A ‘magic’ sponge isn’t enough
After countless raids by players in search of tape, sprays and scissors, the club medical kit is often looking far from fit for purpose. Give it the once over now so that you don’t find yourself short of supplies when it matters. Rhino offers complete kits or individual items from hot and cold packs to bandages and tapes. Check out what’s on offer here 

Rhino medical kits 
Rhino offers full medical kits or individual supplies.

 

Pole position
Replace those snapped corner flags with flexi corner poles and smarten up the tattered flags with some robust moon flags. Or at least make sure there’s 14 of them to mark out the pitch so you don’t find yourself deciding which line is least in need of marking before kick-off. See our range here 

Rhino corner flags and poles 
England Rugby use Rhino corner flags and poles.

 

Get a grip
Rhino’s matchday balls saw seven of last year’s Guinness Pro12 kickers achieve 80% success rates and in Rugby Europe the conversions have been going over just as easily. To ensure you have training and matchday balls with world-class grip for handling and perfect shape for kicking, bring Rhino to your game. For ball bundles, click here 

Rhino Rugby Ball Bundles 
Rhino supplied the 2017 British & Irish Lions with their training balls.

 

Cut a dash
Nothing gives a team a boost more ahead of a new campaign than a new set of shirts and Rhino makes bespoke kits for universities and clubs across the country. The likes of Northampton Saints, Barbarians, London Welsh, Edinburgh and Scarlets have all worn Rhino teamwear, not to mention both Oxford and Cambridge universities. Through our My Club service we not only make your kit and leisurewear but also give you a platform to sell it through, making you cash as you smarten up your side. To find out about My Club, click here

Rhino teamwear 
London Welsh turn out in Rhino teamwear.

 

On the front foot
After weeks of fitness and skills, the serious training work begins and that means practising the setpiece. Only problem is, the machine that your club carpenter built 30 years ago is looking less than up to the job. The British & Irish Lions, England and Wales all use Rhino scrum machines, so they’re tried and tested by the best. If you want to give your forwards the latest in scrum-tech, try the Rhino Scrum 360 – view here. Or view our full range of machines here 

British & Irish Lions and Rhino 
The British & Irish Lions pack down with Rhino.


Hit your post goals
When your kicker hits the post do you groan at missed opportunity or worry for crowd safety as it looks likely to collapse at any time? If it’s the latter, get yourself a new set with Rhino from just £852. You can view our post collection here
And to help pay for them, get a sponsor aboard with some customised post pads – as used by England, Wales and the Lions. Find out more here 

 Rhino rugby posts
England's Rhino customised post pads.

 

Lost your bottle(s)? Get some more
Yes, we mentioned it in our guide to pre-season (view here), but hydration is key and scrabbling around for bottles that aren’t cracked, missing their lids or just missing completely, isn’t ideal match preparation. Treat yourself to a new set here 

Rhino water bottles 
Ensure your players never go thirsty with Rhino water bottles.

 

Spoil your coach
While the players get to buy themselves new boots, mouthguards, shirts, baselayers, head gear and armour, what do coaches get? Hard to justify boots, they can’t wear a team shirt on the sideline, and head gear would be ridiculous, so treat your coach to a new piece of essential kit – a shiny, new, whistle. Get yours here 

 Rhino whistle
Every coach's best friend – the whistle. Get a shiny new one with Rhino.
August 24, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
'You have to have a thick skin, literally and figuratively' - the propping life of Adam Jones

'You have to have a thick skin, literally and figuratively' - the propping life of Adam Jones

Rhino Prop Star judge Adam Jones has played for the best and against the best. Here, the Wales and Lions legend talks exclusively to The Locker Room about his life in the front row.

With 100 Test caps to his name for Wales and the British & Irish Lions, Harlequins tighthead Adam Jones knows better than most what makes a good prop – and why they’re a different breed to other rugby players.  “I think you’ve got to be mentally tough,” says Jones. “If you’re not, you get found out pretty easily. Generally, I would have said props are the ones who were picked last at school before rugby came along. Fortunately for me, rugby did come along. Rugby’s a sport that caters for all sizes, so if you’ve got a thick neck, big back and big backside – then you’ll be fine as a prop.”

When I was growing up it was the props who were the ones at the bar, always leading the singing and festivities

It’s not just about the physical characteristics that Jones believes defines props. “It might have changed now, but certainly when I was growing up it was the props who were the ones at the bar, always leading the singing and festivities.

“When I played internationals, after the game, it was always the props who would be chewing the fat with the opposition – the backs didn’t mix with each other at dinner in the same way. I remember playing England on my debut (in 2003) and Jason Leonard was the first guy to come and have a chat and a pint and ask me what’s going on. Same with Ireland, it was Reggie Corrigan and John Hayes who would always talk. I think there’s always a bond between props because you realise what you put your body through – we’re all like-minded.”

 
Jones with Rhino training equipment during his time with Wales

That ‘like-minded’ nature also extends to the banter. “The fact is the majority of us were big-boned kids,” says Jones, “so you’ve grown up being called fat on and off the field. That means you have to have a thick skin, literally and figuratively – basically we can take the mickey out of each other. And it doesn’t take a lot of sessions after meeting each other either – after one session, you’ll be doing it almost immediately! I coach at Richmond and we have our Whatsapp group and the banter is always flying, it’s always a good crack among front rowers.”

While Jones grew up in a different era of rugby, over the course of his 100-Test career (95 for Wales and five for the British & Irish Lions), he saw the value of props rise considerably. “In the last five or six years, people have cottoned-on to the fact props do an important job,” he says. “At many teams, tighthead props – not me though – have been the highest paid players. Sides know that if they've got good props, they’ve got a good scrum and that’s how you win the game. These days props do more than scrummage, take the three boys we have at Harlequins. Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler and Will Collier are all multi-skilled, and multi-talented.”

I think only a prop can be a scrum coach, I can’t think of many backrowers who are scrum coaches. Anyone can be a forwards coach, but it’s not easy to be a scrum coach if you’ve not been there.

Now developing as a coach, sharing his knowledge at Harlequins and helping out at Championship side Richmond, Jones believes props make the best scrum coaches. “I think it’s one of those positions that’s so specialist, unless you’ve been a prop you don’t know what goes on there. Generally I think only a prop can be a scrum coach. I can’t think of many backrowers who are scrum coaches. Anyone can be a forwards coach, but it’s not easy to be a scrum coach if you’ve not been there. I also think the boys like the fact you’ve played prop so you understand what’s going on.”


After winning 100 caps, Jones began his journey into coaching.

Respect is something Jones has earned wherever he’s gone, whether it’s been Neath, Ospreys, Blues, Harlequins or Wales and the British and Irish Lions at international level. But when it comes to his own heroes, who gets his respect? Who are his heroes? “Jason Leonard was probably one,” he says. “and then from the Welsh side, it was Dai Young. But perhaps the player I was the biggest fan of was Olo Brown, who played for the All Blacks in the ‘90s. My mother and father loved the All Blacks for some reason and I remember watching him a lot – he was some player!”

 The fact is, I’m a big lad, and I’d never have played international rugby or achieved anything in rugby in any other position." 

One thing Jones also respects is he career as a prop and what it’s done for him. “Without wishing to become emotional or anything, I am very grateful that I became a prop,” he admits. “The fact is, I’m a big lad, and I’d never have played international rugby or achieved anything in rugby in any other position. Being a prop is what gave me a big chance in life.”

Adam Jones is a judge of Rhino Prop Star 2017, a search for the amateur prop who goes above and beyond for his club. The prize includes customised post protectors for their club, a Rhino 2017 British & Irish Lions hit shield and personalised Rhino hoodie for two runners-up.

All you have to do to enter, is send us a good quality picture of your nominated prop and tell us why you think he/she deserves to be crowned Rhino Prop Star 2017. We’re looking for props who go the extra mile for their club/community cause both on and off the field. You can either email us at info@rhinorugby.com, or message via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

August 23, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag

Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag

Breakdown and contact skills specialist Richie Gray has coached everyone from Scotland to the Springboks to NFL's Miami Dolphins and the Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag is perhaps his most adaptable creation to date – allowing you to coach 12 different techniques with one tackle bag.  

From jackals and double jackals to accurate clean outs and single and double tackles, the Multi-Skills Bag has already earned plaudits with the many professional players and coaches that have used it already. “The key to the development of technical training aids going forward is adaptability," explains Gray. "We must create equipment that has a number of coaching outcomes especially for the club and school who do not have the budgets of professional teams and franchises” 

Gray has become one of the most well known skills coaches in World Rugby and has developed technical training equipment used globally by teams and coaches at all levels of the game. He's currently the skills/contact coach at Montpellier Herault in France's Top 14, and firmly believes the Multi-Skills Bag should be in every coach's armoury. “As coaches we must continually up-skill our players and make them technically better," says Gray, who spent three years developing the equipment. "The Multi-Skills Bag will take the Rugby Tackle Bag to the next level – one piece of technical training equipment with multiple training affects that both player and coach will enjoy working on in a safe and structured environment."

 
Gray worked with some of the game's top players and coaches to develop his design

 

The 12 techniques you can coach with the Multi–Skills Bag

Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag 

To read a more detail breakdown of the coaching points, please click here 

Technical information

The Multi-Skills Bag is available in senior and junior, for prices and ordering information, click here. For a demonstration of the junior version in action, watch the video below.

 

 

August 18, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
Coaching points: the Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag

Coaching points: the Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag

The Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag can be used to coach 12 different techniques. Here, the man who developed the equipment, former Springbok and Scotland coach Richie Gray, explains the coaching points

 

Low Tackle: Speed of approach, eyes on the target and set height, hip sink, foot in close, same foot same shoulder, initial shoulder contact, arm wrap and grip, chase the feet, complete the tackle.

Mid Tackle: Speed of approach, eyes on the target and set height, hip sink, foot in close, same foot same shoulder, initial shoulder contact, arm wrap and grip, chase the feet, complete the tackle.

Chest Tackle Ball & All: Speed of approach, eyes on the target, hip sink, foot in close, same foot same shoulder, initial shoulder contact and lock in ball, arm wrap and grip, chase the feet, complete the tackle.

Double Team Tackle: Working as a tackle team 1st and 2nd man, speed of approach, eyes on the target, hip sink, foot in close, same foot same shoulder, initial shoulder contact, arm wrap and grip, chase the feet, hips together, complete the tackle.

Single Jackal: As above for key tackle points… from chasing your feet get into a strong position over the ball, hands onto ball and hold or pull ball up onto chest, feet shoulder
width apart and sink into a strong position, stay square, hips down, flat back showing no
angles and head tucked back into shoulders, head in a neutral position, eyes looking over for potential threats.

Single Jackal & Clean: As above but instead of holding in the Jackal position for the steal, go past the ball and attack through the tackle to affect opposition clean out accuracy.

Double Jackal: As Single Jackal for key tackle points… from chasing your feet get into a strong position over the ball, hands onto ball and hold or pull ball up onto chest, feet shoulder width apart and sink into a strong position, stay square, hips down, flat back showing no angles and head tucked back into shoulders, head in a neutral position, eyes looking over for potential threats. The second player then joins the jackler to create a strong bind shoulder to shoulder to protect the jackal and to form a strong holding formation.

Single Clean Out Accuracy: Use angle on the Multi-Skills Bag to create a target to clean out, drop height from approx. 3m from bag, sink hips, eyes always on target, come through the gate and make accurate shoulder and grip contact with the bag (red arms on bag are the grip-target), follow through from low to high with strong leg drive and finish on your feet or strong holding position.

Double Clean Out Accuracy: This time in pairs, use angle on Multi-Skills Bag to create a target to clean out, drop height from approx. 3m from bag, sink hips, eyes always on target, come through the gate and make accurate shoulder and grip contact with the bag (red arms on bag are the grip-target), follow through from low to high with strong leg drive and finish on your feet or strong holding position.

Shoulder Battle: Use secondary angle on Multi-Skills Bag to create a target that gives you an edge to place your shoulder under and get underneath, drop height from approx. 3m from bag, sink hips, eyes always on target, come through the gate and make accurate shoulder contact with the underside of the angle on the bag, follow through from low to high with strong leg drive and finish on your feet or strong holding position.

Shoulder Battle and Jackal Technique: Use secondary angle on Multi-Skills Bag to create a target that gives you an edge to place your shoulder under and get underneath, drop height from approx. 3m from bag, sink hips, eyes always on target, come through the gate and make accurate shoulder contact with the underside of the angle on the bag, follow through from low to high and get hands to ball either to hold or get ball onto chest.

Tackle & Walk: Speed of approach, eyes on target and set height, hip sink, foot in close, same foot same shoulder, initial shoulder contact, arm wrap and grip, chase the feet, complete the tackle first then in a secondary movement crawl out over the top of Multi- Skills Bag keeping hands off the grass and using the red arms on the side of the bag to work along, stay low and finish in strong holding position on end of bag.

 

For more information on the Rhino Collision King Multi-Skills Bag, click here

August 18, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
British & Irish Lions star Adam Jones joins search for Rhino Prop Star 2017

British & Irish Lions star Adam Jones joins search for Rhino Prop Star 2017

Former Wales and British & Irish Lions tighthead Adam Jones has joined fellow Harlequins legend Jason Leonard on the judging panel to find the Rhino Prop Star 2017.

Rhino's search to find Britain's greatest and most noble grassroots rugby prop began earlier this year and has already seen props being nominated across the country and starring on our Twitter channel rhino_rugby. 

It will be the responsibility of Jones and his fellow judges to choose a shortlist of three from the nominated amateur props. These three contenders will then go to the public vote. 

Following his announcement as a Rhino Prop Star judge, Jones spoke of the common characteristics all props share. “The fact is the majority of us were big boned kids,” he said, “so you’ve grown up being called fat on and off the field. That means you have to have a thick skin literally and figuratively – basically we can take the piss out of each other."

What's more, Jones also reckons props are valued more than ever in today's game. “In the last five or six years, people have cottoned-on to the fact props do an important job,” he says. “At some teams tighthead props – not me, though – have been the highest-paid players. Sides know that if they’ve got good props, they’ve got a good scrum and that’s how you win the game."

The winner of Rhino Prop Star 2017 will be invited to Twickenham for the 2017 Varsity
Match between Oxford and Cambridge on 7th December 2017 to receive their award, together with customised post protectors for their club, a Rhino 2017 British & Irish Lions hit shield and personalised Rhino hoodie. Two runners-up will also receive personalised Rhino hoodies.

All you have to do to enter, is send us a good quality picture of your nominated prop and tell us why you think he/she deserves to be crowned Rhino Prop Star 2017. We’re looking for props who go the extra mile for their club/community cause both on and off the field. You can either email us at info@rhinorugby.com, or message via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

Rhino is the official training equipment supplier to England, Wales and The British & Irish Lions. To explore our full range of training equipment, click here

Please note: closing date for Rhino Prop Star 2017 entries is 30.10.2017 – this is an amended deadline.

A Rhino British & Irish Lions hit shield is among the prizes on offer.
August 11, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
Six ways to kick-start your pre-season rugby training

Six ways to kick-start your pre-season rugby training

It’s not too late to give your pre-season rugby training a boost. When planning your sessions, remember these core messages for perfect preparation ahead of the new rugby season 

 

1. Focus on agility
This is the one time of year that you get to work on agility before the serious contact and set-piece play comes in. Introduce short agility drills now, taking the time to explain the coaching points and details. By making them familiar now, you can use them over the course of the campaign as little ‘top-up’ agility drills without having to go over everything again.

Rhino Core Agility Pack
With cone ladder sets, speed ladder and marker discs, it’s got some agility essentials. More details here

Rhino Speed & Agility Pack
The daddy of all agility kits (below), including chutes, ladders, resistors, evasion belts, cones, hurdles and poles. More details here

Rhino Pre-Season Agility Kit

2. Work in ‘matchplay’ scenarios
It’s important to always reiterate why you’re doing a drill in pre-season and how it correlates to match situations – this isn't just about seeing who can see their lunch again first. Incorporating basic key rugby skills into the fitness drills is not only a must but can also be a way of improving specific areas of weakness. For instance, bringing a Rhino Jackal Ring into a fitness drill allows you to tweak their breakdown technique while still delivering the overall conditioning aspect you want from pre-season sessions.  

Rhino Jackal Ring
The Rhino Jackal Ring (below) allows you to actually strap a ball inside the ring to make for a more realistic ‘jackal’ after contact. More details here

 Rhino Jackal Ring

3. A need for speed (and walking and jogging)
It might seem obvious to some, but training isn’t about sending them for endless laps of pitches any more. You need to break up the pace at all times, interspersing sessions with mixtures of sprint, recovery walking, jogging – essentially something called fartlek. The running you do should resemble what you do in games. As well as varying those runs, use kit such as harness and speed sleds and speed chutes – they liven up every session to keep minds focused.

Rhino Power Speed Sled
So you don’t have to haul old car tyres to every training session, get your players to haul the power sled instead. More details here

Rhino Speed Chute
The Rhino Speed Chute (below) is a staple of the professional pre-season training using wind resistance to improve performance. More details here 

 Rhino Speed Chute

4. Get a strong start to the season
There's a reason the role of ‘strength and conditioning coach’ exists in professional rugby and let’s not forget the first element of that job title. While it’s tempting to leave the heavy stuff to the gym, utilising equipment such as lifting bags or core cubes means you can shake up your pre-season drills with some dynamic strength routines. 

Rhino Core Cubes
Available in weights from 10kg to 30kg, these durable bags add to your training options. More details here

Rhino Weight Water Bag
Fill up at the ground, the Rhino Weight Water Bag (below, left) saves hassle and space. Weighs up to 25kg when full. More details here

 Rhino Weight Water Bag

5. Take time to focus on individual specialist skills

Unless you've got your own team of specialist coaches, finding time to help players in positions with unique skills is tough during the season. Players in roles such as hooker, scrum-half and your kicker require individual coaching to hone their technique – help them with that now rather than waiting until the passes, throws or kicks are going astray in December. Give them the best foundation for a successful campaign ahead. Better now than when poor technique starts to impact on games and, as a result, you have to battle low confidence as well.

Rhino Lineout Training Hoop
Improve your players aim with this simple training device (below). More details here

 Rhino Lineout Hoop

6. Keep them hydrated
Don’t rely on your players to bring enough water – even with the best of intentions, they never will. So come prepared on their behalf. 

Rhino Drinks Carrier
The Rhino Drinks Carrier (picture below), more details here

 Rhino Water Bottle Carrier

Rhino was the official training equipment and training ball supplier to the 2017 British & Irish Lions, to view our full range of training equipment, click here

 

 

August 09, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
The 1,211 pieces of training equipment used by The British & Irish Lions in New Zealand

The 1,211 pieces of training equipment used by The British & Irish Lions in New Zealand

As the official training equipment and ball supplier to The British & Irish Lions NZ 2017 Tour, Rhino has kitted the squad out with a fair bit of gear. 1,211 bits to be precise.

From scrum machines to tackle bags to different types of hit shields, not to mention the Ruck Warrior, rugby balls and an awful lot of cones, The British & Irish Lions have always been well stocked with Rhino equipment.

To cover all bases, The Lions have three identical sets of equipment in three locations each consisting of 337 items, one in the UK, and then two in New Zealand (one on each island). Throw in 200 official training balls that move with them, and you've got your ultimate 1,211-piece inventory fit for The Lions. And don't forget let us know which piece of Rhino equipment is your favourite, by commenting below the post.


So if you're planning your own Lions tour, this is what you'll need to replicate the legends.

 

3 x Rhino PowaSleds

A steel-framed, classic scrum machine with vertical pads that enable to move independently to replicate the realistic hit. Want to practise like Furlong, George and Vunipola? More info here.

British & Irish Lions hit the Rhino Powa Scrum Sled

Tadgh Furlong, Rory Best, Joe Marler and Sam Warburton are among Lions packing down with Rhino. Pic: Inpho

 

3 x Rhino One-Man Scrum Machine Sled

For the forward that likes to train alone! Focus on technique and power of your props, either on their own or in pairs with a second row. Can add weights as required. Find out more here.

Rhino one man scrum sled

The Rhino One-Man Scrum Machine Sled. Pic: Inpho

 

69 x Tackle Suits

Nobody wants to see a Lion get injured in training, and the Rhino Tackle Suits (with leg protectors), help absorb the hits. Find out more here.

Rhino Tackle Suits 

The Lions' Rhino Senior Tackle Suits. Pic: Inpho

 

45 x World Cup Hit Shields

Another classic, the premium shield for contact work, the World Cup Hit Shield. A snip at £62 too. Find out more here.

45 x International Hit Shields

Slightly smaller sibling of the World Cup Hit Shield. £57.85. Find out more here.

 

Rhino World Cup Hit Shield

The Lions bundle into training with Rhino hit shields. Pic: Inpho

 

30 x Tackle Bags

The most popular tackle bag in Rhino's collection. Find out more here.

Rhino Round Tackle Bag

Rory Best tackles Rhino. Pic: Inpho

 

18 x Collision King Low Tackle Bags

Keeping the tackles low and helping at the breakdown, the Collision King is a flankers' favourite bit of training kit. Give your backrows a helping hand here.

Collision King bag low

Tadgh Furlong eyes up the Collision King Low Bag. Pic: Inpho

 

6 x Ruck Warriors

This is the ultimate bit of kit for mastering the breakdown, specifically the ruck, helping you to improve clearing out techniques and practise rucking at full speed. More here

Ruck Warrior

Jonathan Joseph begins to get the hang of this rucking business. Pic: Inpho

 

200 x Training Balls

The official training ball of The British & Irish Lions 2017 NZ Tour. Find yours here.

Official British & Irish Lions training ball

You can purchase the exact same ball the Lions train with or a replica via rhino.direct. Pic: Inpho

 

6 x Lineout Nets

Thanks to hours of practise with these nets, Rory Best, Jamie George and Ken Owens have been finding their jumpers (give or take the odd one). Get yours here.

180 x Grid Marker Discs 

Classic 'cones' to you and me. Get yours here

300 x Cones

Actual cone-shaped cones. Get yours here

90 x Soft Cones

Softer versions of the cone-shaped cones. Get yours here

138 x Agility Poles

The secret training weapon that no doubt helped Liam Williams weave his way through the All Blacks in the first Test! Get practising now for the next tour here

12 x Post Protectors

Because posts need protection too. See ours here

6 x Climbing Bags

Whether you want your back three practising under the high ball or the forwards working on kick-offs and line outs, the climbing bags have been put to good use by The Lions. Find out more here 

60 x Moon Flags and Corner Pole Protectors

Ensuring The Lions know where the tryline is – seems to be working. More here.

Rhino Flags

 

The Varsity Match follows Lions lead

The Varsity Match follows Lions lead

Rhino has been appointed as official ball partner and official training equipment partner for the Varsity Match.

Just as The British & Irish Lions currently do in New Zealand, the partnership will see both Oxford and Cambridge use the highest-level Rhino training equipment for their match preparations throughout the season. Rhino will also supply the official training and match ball for the iconic Varsity Match contests at Twickenham on Thursday 7th December 2017.

Representing a further extension of Rhino’s current agreement with the annual Battle of the Blues, the partnership follows last month’s announcement that Rhino Teamwear would be supplying on-field, training and leisurewear apparel to both clubs as well as on Varsity Match day for both the men’s and women’s teams. As part of the three-year agreement, Rhino will now also become an overall official partner of The Varsity Match.

Rhino and The Varsity Match partner up

Reg Clark of Rhino and Jeremy Macklin of the Varsity Match

Former Oxford Blue and Rhino Group CEO Reg Clark said: “Rhino is delighted to become an official partner of The Varsity Match – one of the game’s great historic occasions, in an agreement which encompasses our full product offering – balls, training equipment, teamwear and apparel. We believe no other rugby brand in the world can offer this full range of products.  We are also looking forward to working closely with both OURFC and CURUFC throughout the seasons, and to linking with as many college sides at the Universities as possible.”

David Searle CEO of The Varsity Match Company said: “The Varsity Match is delighted to have agreed a further partnership with Rhino - a name synonymous with top level rugby. They have a proven track record of working with the leading teams in world rugby and we are very excited that the rugby clubs of Oxford and Cambridge Universities will benefit from using Rhino's equipment and expertise.”

The Varsity Match joins a star-studded stable of global rugby brands to be supplied equipment, rugby balls and teamwear by Rhino.

Rhino’s partners include The British & Irish Lions (balls and equipment), England Rugby (equipment), Welsh Rugby Union (equipment), RBS 6 Nations (leisurewear), Rugby Europe (balls). 

The 31st Women’s Varsity Match and 136th Men’s Varsity Match is set to take place at the home of England Rugby, Twickenham Stadium, on Thursday 7 December 2017, with the tickets pre-sale now open. Tickets from £20 adults and £10 juniors are available to buy here www.thevarsitymatch.com.

June 15, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
WIN an official British & Irish Lions jumbo ball signed by Martin Johnson

WIN an official British & Irish Lions jumbo ball signed by Martin Johnson

It's the biggest prize every rugby fan could wish for – an almighty official British & Irish Lions jumbo rugby ball, and it's been signed by none other than two-time Lions captain Martin Johnson.

Rhino is the official training and supporters ball supplier to the 2017 British & Irish Lions – visit the range here – and to celebrate the launch of our limited edition Official History of The British & Irish Lions book – which you can view here  – we've got a man who's been part of that history to put pen to jumbo ball, three-time tourist Johnson. And you can be the proud owner of one of two British & Irish Lions jumbo balls signed by the man himself.

All you have to do enter, the competition, is pop over to our Twitter channel, which you can find here, find the relevant post, like the one above, and RETWEET and FOLLOW to enter. You must do both to enter the draw. 

The competition closes at 11.59pm on Friday 2nd June. 

Rhino's limited edition version of the Official History of The British & Irish Lions book is available for just £20, exclusively at rhino.direct, get yours here

Martin Johnson, signed ball and book

 

 

 

May 30, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
WIN the chance to attend The 2017 British & Irish Lions squad training session in Cardiff

WIN the chance to attend The 2017 British & Irish Lions squad training session in Cardiff

As the official supplier of The British & Irish Lions 2017 training and supporters balls (click here to see the range), Rhino has pulled a few strings to get passes to watch the British & Irish Lions 2017 squad train at their UK training base before the leave for New Zealand...

All you have to do to enter this once-in-a-lifetime competition and see the likes of Sam Warburton, Billy Vunipola, CJ Stander and Stuart Hogg get put through their paces by Warren Gatland and his team is visit our Twitter page here find the relevant post and give it a retweet, remembering to follow at the same time.

The squad session is set to take place at The Vale of Glamorgan on 15th May and you will join Rhino to watch the squad enjoy one of their all-important training sessions before they depart for New Zealand and begin their 10-match tour.

Full rules at the bottom of this article.

Rhino is the official supplier of training balls and supporters balls to the British and Irish Lions 2017. To view our range, click here.

 Rhino Official Supplier British & Irish Lions

Rules: You must be available to attend the training session during the day on Monday 15th May, 2017 (15.05.17). No travel expenses are included. There are no alternatives to this prize. There is only one prize of two passes to the training session to be won. This training session is subject to change or even cancellation by the British & Irish Lions - in this instance there is no alternative prize. You must be contactable via Twitter on 01.05.17. If no response is received by 6pm on 01.05.17, a new winner will be selected. This competition is not open to Rhino employees or their families. Competition closes at 23:59 on 30.03.17. Competition open to those aged 18 or over.

 

April 18, 2017 — Locker Room
Tags: my-club
Introducing the all-new Rhino Scrum 360

Introducing the all-new Rhino Scrum 360

Four years in the making, Rhino introduces the all-new Rhino Scrum 360, a revolutionary new training machine that closer replicates the real movements of a scrum and maul.

The brainchild of Rhino's long-term collaborator and founder of Global Sports Innovation (GSI), Richie Gray – a coach who has worked with the Springboks (7s and 15s) Scotland and joins Vern Cotter at Montpellier next season – the Rhino Scrum 360 has moveable head pads, a maul attachment and a circular base to reflect both scrum and maul movement. 

"My company GSI has now developed over 20 products for Rhino rugby over the last seven or eight years, and I always wanted to create something that could make it easier for scrum and maul," explains Gray. "Why are all scrum machines on a rectangular base? It doesn't bring around the desired movement effect. We worked with the engineering team at a top Scottish university – Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt – to look at the concept of force, power and movement and the end result was the Scrum 360."

For the past two years, prototypes of the machine have been constantly tested, with Gray engaging rugby players and coaches from international level right down to club. Constantly tweaking his design in line with feedback from the players and coaches, the Scrum 360 is unlike any other machine out there. "It replicates straight drives, wheels and even the work that has to be done at the front end of that scrum to keep it steady and safe," explains Gray. "On the spring system, if one prop works hard the other prop has to counter it, so it brings in a good dynamic. From a core stability point of view, all the players that have used it said that, in a build-up or as a full eight, they have to work harder to be synchronised with each other. As a scrum coach that's what you want – all eight working together to move as one."

Hand-made at Rhino's base in Somerset, UK, the Scrum 360 is as tough as you'd expect it to be. "That’s where Rhino are way ahead," says Gray. "Their machines last forever which, in some ways is a bad thing, because you want turnover! But it has to be well made because we’re dealing with young people – male / female – and if it’s not made properly to stand up to rigours and be kept outside, then it's going to be dangerous."

Three key highlights

1. Circular base
The Rhino Scrum 360 has a circular basis as opposed to a traditional rectangular one. This means it closer replicates the movement of a real scrum, which can twist and turn. It challenges your players to keep it straight, otherwise it’ll wheel.

Rhino Scrum 360 circular base

2. Maul attachment
There’s never been a proper maul attachment for a scrum machine. You did use to see a flat pad attachment, but this one shares the circular base to replicate maul movement. In addition, the pads can be up moved and altered to set up different formations and training practices.

Rhino Scrum 360 maul attachment

3. Fixed heads that can also move
While you have the fixed head pads first and foremost, you can then release them and the three-spring system means they move – your scrum will have to drive straight to stay straight. There are also adjusting settings whether you’ve got one prop packing down or the whole eight. The heads can also be adapted to ensure you have the right shape for your tighthead and loosehead. There are also binding pads on the side to make it as match-like as possible.

 

The Rhino Scrum 360 is priced at £5.998 (incl VAT) with the additional Maul Attachment priced at £2,100 (incl VAT).
To read more about the Rhino Scrum 360, click here.  To read more on the Maul Attachment, click here.
For sales and information, call 01934 384070 or email sales@rhinorugby.com

England and Lions legend Jason Leonard joins the search for Rhino Prop Star 2017

England and Lions legend Jason Leonard joins the search for Rhino Prop Star 2017

Legendary England and British & Irish Lions prop Jason Leonard has joined the search for Rhino Prop Star 2017. 

The former Harlequins loosehead is the first official judge to be announced as Rhino steps up its bid to find the prop who is truly worth his/her weight in gold – and win their club some new post protectors at the same time.

"Props have always been literally the all round athletes of rugby, so it's about time they're given some credit," Jason told The Locker Room. "Not only are they often the most handsome player in the team, but I've also found my fellow props to be solid guys who would do anything for anyone. They're always a true team player and always one who will take one for the team in a number of ways."

The Rhino Prop Star 2017 will be awarded to the man or woman who goes beyond the considerable shift they put in every week as the cornerstone of the pack. It could be the prop who always puts that little bit extra on the fund-raising front, or someone who gives up his/her free time to help the youth. Or just that they've shown commitment to their sport unlike any other player.

"It seems fitting that they can win post protectors as they're nearly always the only ones who have the energy to carry them back to the clubhouse"
Jason has his criteria too: "I'm proud to be a Rhino Prop Star judge," he says, "and I'll be looking for the kind of props who go that extra mile for their team-mates, club and community. And it seems fitting that they can win post protectors as they're nearly always the only ones who have the energy to carry them back to the clubhouse."
Rhino will be given social media shout outs to props over the course of the year, and the judges will be compiling a shortlist of three props who will then go to a public vote to decide who should win the inaugural title.
To enter, simply send your nomination to us at info@rhinorugby.com or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. For full details of Rhino Prop Star 2017, click here.