How to Prepare for a Rugby Away Day

Away days.

Rugby is a popular sport around the world, and for those that play it there is nothing more fun than a tournament or competition when you get the opportunity to stay away for the day, a weekend, or even a week.

These tournaments typically take place off-season, and they are an excellent opportunity for amateur and professional players to not only maintain their fitness and stay sharp on their skills, but they are also a great form of team bonding. Whether you are staying over at a hotel or even on a campsite, rugby away days can be the most fun you’ll have with your boots on – but you do need to be prepared before you leave.

In this article, we will look at some of the things you will want to make sure that you have with you (because forgetting something important, like your boots or your mouthguard, could be a costly mistake.

1. Spare Clothing and Equipment

This one might seem obvious, but bringing spares of things like shorts, socks, and boots is going to make a real difference. This is obviously more true if you are flying; you will want to make sure that the really important items are coming with you on the plane in your carry on. Lost luggage might be a rarity, but you don’t want to find out that your case with all your kit in it has magically turned up a continent away.

Spares can also be useful for your teammates, but as long as you cover yourself, you don’t need to worry. Don’t be the guy in the changing room that has to ask if anyone has spare socks!

If you are the player who is more strapping tape than skin on the pitch, make sure that you don’t forget tape. Bring WAY more than you think you need – it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

2. Supplements and Snacks

Even amateur players need to fuel themselves properly, and if you rely on supplements like protein shakes and pre-workout to get you through the rucks, then you need to make sure you bring them with you.

You won’t want to bring a massive bucket of protein powder with you, so consider measuring it all out before you travel so that it’s ready to go when you are.

There are things like gels and ready-made shakes available which might just be the answer you are looking for.

Hotel food and room service might not be the right answer for you, but you will need to eat – think about bringing some snacks (that don’t need cooking or that can be made with just boiling water from the hotel kettle). Protein bars are the obvious answer.

Don’t forget water, too.

3. Journey Entertainment

If you are one of those players that likes to get in the zone before you play, then you will probably have your own pre-match routine to follow. However, long journeys can be boring, so you might want to consider something to keep you occupied. Mobile games are an obvious answer, of course – have you tried playing the various types of free slots that are available?

If you have the memory, you could also download your favourite movie or TV show to your smartphone – that is a great boredom buster. Just make sure your headphones are available; you don’t want to upset your fellow passengers with the soundtrack of The Mandalorian.

4. Plastic Bags

Nobody is going to make use of the hotel laundry service to wash their kit after the games, and if you are camping you likely won’t have access to anything like that.

What you need is some big plastic bags, like bin liners, which you can stow in your suitcase and then wrap your dirty kit in for the journey home. This will protect your suitcase from getting dirty, reduce the risk of pongy smells, and make it easier to just dump it all in the washing machine as soon as you get home.

5. Nighttime Essentials

Whether you are going to stay up drinking with the lads or you want to get your eight hours in, you will need some bits for the hotel (or the campsite).
Firstly, don’t forget your charger. You probably won’t be bringing a laptop, for example, but you will have your smartphone. Another thing to remember might be headphones if you want to cancel out the noise and watch your favourite show before you turn in. Earplugs are also a good idea.

Have you considered bringing flip-flops? Moving around the hotel or the campsite in bare feet is not recommended, but you won’t want to put trainers or your boots on, so this is a good idea.

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