There are different sizes depending on what age-level rugby players are competing in

There are different rugby ball sizes and they are typically used for different age groups.

There are three sizes traditionally used in rugby. Size three is used for mini rugby (under-seven, eight and nine), size four is for junior rugby (under-10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) and size five is used for under-15 and up, according to Gilbert.

Related: Why a rugby ball is that shape?

This means the balls you see professional rugby players use are a size five, whether that be men’s or women’s rugby. However, there have been some discussions in women’s rugby for the players to use a size four ball.

Should women use a smaller rugby ball?

A smaller ball has been trialled in the women’s game before but they did not lead to permanent change. Players and officials have spoken positively about playing with smaller balls but there has been some opposition. There are no official plans to make the change in the immediate future.

Referee Sara Cox gave insight into the ball debate with the BBC: “They trialled a smaller ball – a size four – when I was playing. I loved it. I was doing the kicks for goal and I increased my distance.

“I remember having conversations with my team-mates and it was so polarised. You talk to players about it and you get half the team who say, ‘absolutely not, we can handle a size five. It should be equal with the men’s game’.”

And Trailfinders head coach and former Wasps boss Giselle Mather told Scrumqueens: “I don’t see why we should have a smaller ball when we play to the same laws and on the same-sized pitch as the men. Football don’t change the ball, cricket wickets are 22 yards long, hockey has the same stick – whether men or women.

“There are no differences in the laws we play to and if you change that, they could change other laws for us. It messes with the purity of the game.”

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