World Rugby says balls for World Cup will be kept under lock and key

TORONTO — There should be no Deflategate at the Rugby World Cup.

A spokesman for the sport’s world governing body says six balls will be allocated for each game at the 20-team tournament, which opens Friday and runs through Oct. 31 in Britain.

The match balls will be used by teams for the so-called captain’s run, the light practice that teams traditionally hold the day before kickoff. The balls will then be taken back by the match commissioner and kept in a secure location overnight, according to the World Rugby spokesman.

They will be checked and tested before the match to ensure they are the correct pressure.

The 2015 tournament official ball is the Gilbert Match XV, which was used in English Premiership, French Top 14 and top-level test matches in 2014 and 2015.

Gilbert calls it its most-tested ball ever.

A two-year development process produced a new surface compound to “enhance grip without compromising subtlety or durability,” according to the company. The surface design has also been improved to enable “quicker water dispersion.”

Gilbert provided national teams with the new ball, which weighs 460 grams, in advance of the tournament.


The Canadian Press