Ask any schoolboy: what’s the second-best thing about the second term? Winter sports start. What’s the first-best thing? Now’s the time to go shopping for winter sports gear! Here’s a comprehensive look at what you’ll need for the two main sports: soccer and rugby.

 

SOCCER BALLS

The beauty of football is that all you really need is your feet and a ball. The FIFA-aproved Nike Premier Team soccer ball (R449, Totalsports) has high-contrast graphics which make it easy to track when it’s in flight… but if you’re a kid, and if you’re tracking its flight into the neighbour’s back yard, then the more affordable Nike Pitch (R229, Totalsports) may be a wiser choice. The adidas EPP Glider (R179, Totalsports) will also do the job.

 

 

 

 SOCCER BOOTS

We said you only needed a ball and your feet… but it helps if you have some quality boots on those feet! For juniors, the adidas Junior Messi 16.4 FxG (R800, Sportsmans Warehouse) will make you look the part of the star player… but if you’re still on your way to becoming that star player, the Nike Junior Tiempo Rio III FG (R600, Sportsmans Warehouse) or Umbro Junior Speciali Afriq 10-5 Firm Ground (R400, Sportsmans Warehouse) will do just as well.

 

For seniors, your choice of boots will largely depend on your budget and your tolerance for bright colours (Newsflash: black boots went out with the 1994 World Cup). You’ll love the bright red adidas X 16.1 FG/AG (R2 500, Sportsmans Warehouse), or the yellow and green Puma Evospeed Senior 17.5 (R1 200, Sportsmans Warehouse), but the Nike Bravata FG (R529, Game) or Mitre Power III (R399, Game) will give you similar levels of comfort and grip.

 

If you’re more of an indoor player, you may want to invest in a pair of Nike Men’s Mercurialx Pros (R700, Sportsmans Warehouse), with their softer uppers and their carpet-friendly mini-studs.

 

SHINPADS FOR SOCCER

Remember – despite what the whistle-happy Uefa Champions League referees believe – that soccer is a contact sport… so you’ll want a decent set of shinpads. The Nike Protegga Flex (R349.95, Totalsports) are ergonomically designed to fit the shape of your leg, and have built-in ankle guards for extra protection, while the adidas Everclub (R299, Totalsports) offer a secure fit and EVA backing for cushioned comfort. If you’re not planning on playing against a team of tough-tackling hatchet men, then the Puma Evo Force II (R99, Totalsports) offer the full package: calf straps for fit, and EVA foam backing for comfort.

 

 

 

GOALIE GLOVES

Playing keeper? Even if you’re not, it’s worth having a set of goalie gloves in your kit bag. The Adidas Ace (R399, Totalsports) and Puma evoPOWER Grip 4.3 (R250, Sportsmans Warehouse) are both great options.

 

SAFETY GEAR FOR RUGBY

The main aim in schoolboy or club rugby? Don’t get hurt. Rugby’s a rough sport – that’s why we like it! – but it can cause impact injuries, so you’ll want to be properly protected. If you’re playing anywhere around the scrum, invest in a scrumcap. The Canterbury Club Headguard (R600, Sportsmans Warehouse) and Headstart Headguard (R350, Sportsmans Warehouse) are both good investments.

 

Then, no matter where you’re lining up in the starting XV, you’ll need a good mouth guard. The dentist’s bills and toothless smiles that result from not wearing a mouth guard just aren’t worth the trouble. Get the Shock Doctor V1.5 (R99, Sportsmans Warehouse) or the OPRO Snap Fit (R59.80, Makro), and preserve your winning smile for the end-of-season team photo.

 

Similarly, body armour is a part of life in any level of rugby. Like the IRB-approved Canterbury Z-Vest Shoulder Pad (R499, Totalsports), the Headstart Shoulder Pad (Junior R299, Senior R350, both Sportsmans Warehouse) offers protective moulded foam padding on the shoulders, chest, biceps and back of the neck, ensuring optimal protection at the angle of impact… whether you’re dishing out the tackles, or finding yourself on the receiving end.

 

Chuck a Summit Adjustable Kicking Tee (R79.80, Makro) into your bag for place-kicks, and get your hands on a Summit Advance (R129, Game) or Gilbert SA Attach (R119, Game) size-5 ball.

 

 

RUGBY KIT

Finally, let’s get you some togs. Unlike soccer boots, rugby boots need longer studs for better grip – and your choice of boots depends on your playing position. If you’re in the tight five (hooker, prop or lock), swipe your RCS Card and get a pair of adidas Men’s Kakari Force SG boots (R3 500, Sportsmans Warehouse). The 11 studs provide excellent traction, and the heel raise will give you optimal foot position on the pitch. If you’re around the back row (flank, eighth man), you’ll want the adidas Men’s Predator Malice SG (R2 500, Sportsmans Warehouse), and if you’re a running back (scrumhalf, flyhalf, centre, fullback or wing), the six-stud Asics Men’s Gel-Lethal Speed (R2 500 Sportsmans Warehouse) are for you.

 

GEAR UP!

Invest in match-winning equipment with your RCS Card. The RCS shopping network gives you access to over 23 000 retailers, including leading sports brands like adidas, Nike, Sportsmans Warehouse, Totalsports, Game, Makro, The Cross Trainer, The Pro Shop, and more!

 

* Prices were correct at time of publication, but may be subject to change or availability.