Which egg could reasonably replace a rugby ball?

Rugby balls look a bit like eggs. That’s obvious. Indeed, eggs – chicken eggs, the ones you use to make a lovely omelette – can look like rugby balls if you sketch a little stitching, or the world ‘GILBERT’ on the side. But the question remains: If want to play rugby and don’t have a ball, what kind of egg can you use in its place?

A regulation size 5 rugby ball as used in professional matches is 28-30cm long and 410-460g in weight.

A chicken egg might be 5cm. It is not big enough to play rugby with. Indeed at just 1/6 the size of a rugby ball, your average chicken egg would only suit a collection of raccoons looking to play rugby. While fun, this is not what we’re trying to determine today.

So what egg would work?

Well, the ostrich egg at 15cm long is the largest bird’s egg on the planet. And yet it’s only half the size of a rugby ball. So that’s not to work. And it could leave us ending this article without a suitable conclusion. But it won’t. Because i) this is Citius Altius Nerdius and we always deliver on pointless sporting trivia, and ii) we’ve considered two things:

  1. Extinctions
  2. The sea

The Elephant Bird, a now extinct creature that once lived in Madagascar, had eggs that were up to 34 cm in length. These were not only the largest bird eggs ever found, but just the right size for playing rugby with. Although at an estimated weight of 10kg they would be very heavy. And, being eggs, would obviously break immediately on contact. 

But we haven’t explored the sea yet. And when we do we find… the Whale Shark with eggs that are exactly 30cm in length (the largest for a living animal). And since these eggs stay in the mother until they hatch it would be hard to break them. But also hard to play rugby with them.

But we can dream.