Rugby shorts must be able to withstand punishment and should be thick enough to provide some protection while playing. Most have pockets and many have a drawstring to prevent them coming down when tackled. While the most popular material has been cotton, modern shorts can also be made from higher grade polyester with reinforced seams. The use of these shorts is increasing as they are lighter, more durable, more comfortable, and better retain their color compared to traditional cotton shorts.
The use of hard plastic padding of any kind, including jock straps, is forbidden in most leagues. However, in the United States, the high-padding of American football has influenced some junior leagues to allow, or in some cases require, jock straps.
Canterbury of New Zealand is the most popular producer of rugby kit. Kooga are a very popular supplier, particularly to rugby league teams. Paladin Sports is also a very popular manufacturer for both Union & League, as is Triple Play from Australia.