A PS4, cricket bat, and budgie smugglers! Italy flanker Jake Polledri reveals what's in his kit bag for the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Heading out to a World Cup involves some serious packing. Players can be on the road for more than two months so there are plenty of items to tick off before they fly out to Japan.
Gone are the days when a kitbag contained a Mars bar, boots and a few cans of lager for after the match. Preparation is key and suitcases are heavier than ever before.
So, what exactly goes into a rugby player’s luggage? Italy flanker Jake Polledri emptied his bags and talked Rugby Correspondent Nik Simon through the contents…
1 Trainers — two pairs: flat soles for gym and another pair for casual wear
2 Sun cream — a dry oil type that won’t go in your eyes when you sweat
3 PlayStation — We play FIFA a lot… I’m unbeaten!
4 Eye mask — a present from my girlfriend so I can get some sleep on the flight
5 Lifting blocks — these strap to your legs to help the lineout lifters
6 Protein shaker — got to keep up your protein!
7 Recovery Pump — these are like inflatable trousers which compress to flush out your legs after training
8 Biltong — another way to get a bit of protein!
9 Cricket bat — we have the odd game of hotel corridor cricket during downtime
10 Hypervolt Massage gun — perfect for loosening your muscles before and after games
11 Budgie Smugglers — swimming trunks for pool recovery sessions, or the beach!
12 Speakers — there’s nothing worse than a silent changing room and headphones — I like to stick on a gym playlist on Spotify
13 Lots and lots of nuts — snacks for pre- and post-gym, quinine sulfate — special tablets which stop cramps, caffeine gum and shots — good for energy before, during after games, hydration tables — particularly useful in Japan where you sweat a lot and a Dermapad — a gel shoulder pad which protects my dodgy AC joint.
14 Passport — can’t get anywhere without it!
15 iPad and iPhone — stay in touch
16 Gumshield — my dentist insists!
17 Notepad — contains all the plays, notes and any Italian words I don’t understand!
18 Kicking tee — just in case anyone drops down!
19 Cycling shorts — my lucky pair since Gloucester
20 Sliders — for casual wear and relaxing
21 Trolley bag — an aeroplane bag for travelling and matchdays
22 Boots — I have two pairs. These have studs for scrum training and matches. I’m size 11 but some guys are size 15!
23 Spare studs — longer length options to give more grip on muddy pitches
24 Branded training shirts
25 More boots — moulded studs, which are comfier, for normal training
26 Training kit — shorts, gym vest, training t-shirt, tracksuit top, casual hotel wear, tracksuit bottoms, formal polo shirts… the list goes on! I’m a size XXL because the kit comes up quite small so our prop, Tiziano Pasquali, is probably XXXXL!
27 Washbag — toothbrush, deodorant, hair gel… all the essentials!
28 Hat — handy in the Japan sunshine!
29 Rucksack — day-bag to chuck in your boots, notepad that sort of stuff
30 Luggage bag — the main holdall that everything goes into
31 Casual wear — jumpers, boxer shorts, swimming shorts etc. You only need seven or eight days’ worth because there’s a weekly laundry session
32 Smart shoes — the kitman doesn’t trust us not to get our suits creased so we just have to look after the shoes!
PS Our matchday shirts are left hanging in the changing room on the day of the game so we don’t carry them around. We get a new shirt for every match. You usually swap shirts with your opposite man so hopefully I’ll build up a nice collection!