Rugby 22 Review: Try another day

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The Six Nations commences in just over a week - and you can really get into the swing of rugby's greatest championship with the arrival of Eko Software's Rugby 22 - the third instalment of the franchise.

Rugby 20 provided great strides forward, and was perhaps the best rugby title we've seen since EA's classic Rugby 08 - but can Rugby 22 eclipse it?

First impressions

With the All Blacks headlining the show, we were incredibly excited to give Beauden Barrett & co a run-out - and the game really comes alive with that team with almost the entire 1st XV rated 90+.

Despite no haka pre-kick-off, we loved every big tackle, every ruck battle, every scrum, line-out, and breathtaking finish when Rieko Ioane got his hands on the ball out wide.

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LET BATTLE COMMENCE - Getting onto the pitch for the first time is amazing, but the novelty soon wears off

As the game goes on, however, the gloss wears off.

Your forwards regularly stand at first receiver, tackling is difficult to time, you get little time to kick from hand, and as much as the graphics are an improvement on two years ago - they aren't up to the standard expected of Next Gen consoles.

Many of the issues are hidden when you are playing with the best teams in the game, but when you step into Career Mode and start off with a bunch of stragglers, you probably won't be able to go any higher than semi-pro difficulty.

The All Blacks and Australia's Wallabies are great inclusions for the game, but the game is still without England and South Africa, and have lost the licencing to the English Premiership - which will be a significant turn-off for UK players.

Licensed teams & leagues

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AXED - No English Premiership is a significant loss for Eko

Premiership teams and other international sides do feature but without licences, and are made up by generated players with no correlation to the real-life teams.

Eko missed a trick here, by not following Big Ant's lead from Cricket 22 (also published by Nacon) which allows fans to download unlicensed teams and players from the community.

There is also no licenced stadiums in the game.

Game modes

There are multiple modes to play in Rugby 22, but we reckon there's one that will be your go-to destination.

Quick Match

Learn the ropes, and try out various teams on the game - plus any accomplishes and quiz questions you answer correctly in kick-off will go to your budget that you can spend on Career Mode.

Online Match

With no servers as of yet, we're interested to see how online play will play out.

With no incentive to play online we can't imagine many players flocking to the mode.


Struggling in a particular area? Re-do the tutorial or just practice until you nail it.


These will be challenges set on a regular basis so you can gain rewards.

My Missions

Here's where you can view accomplishments (eg. succesfully perform 10 set-pieces) which will earn you in-game currency.


Similar to the "World League" on EA's rugby games, the Career Mode sees you create your own club, hire some average players and try and take them all the way to the top.

You'll face both club and international sides on your way through the ranks, with an in-game currency allowing you to pick up player "cards" for your squad.

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GO THE DISTANCE - Career Mode will be the most popular mode on the game

In friendly matches, the higher the difficulty you play on, the higher the reward and you can even place "wagers" on your games by predicting how many tries you'll score.

Be mindful of your team's stamina before each match, however, and it is a bit of an ordeal making the necessary changary

The lack of licences does get in your way a little bit, as it means you won't be able to bring the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Faf du Klerk into your side.

The arrival of the All Blacks and Wallabies does dangle the carrot of some world class players, however, and if you can tough out the first season, there's plenty of fun to be had here.


Here's when you can pick one of the teams on the game and take them into competition.


That could be the Top 14, ProD2, United Rugby Championship, unlicensed Premiership (it took us a while to figure out who "Langhorn Drive" was) or the "Nations Championship" featuring all the international sides on the game.


If you are a massive rugby fan - then you should consider Rugby 22, but with very few game-changing features added from Rugby 20 - you may be better off moving for the previous game.

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ON THE UP - Player likenesses have vastly improved

There is improved tactical play with set-pieces and pods - but that soon does fade into the background.

The graphics aren't comparable to what we've seen on Next Gen titles likes FIFA 22 & NBA 2K22, which is highlighted by no price difference between the PS4 and PS5 versions.

RealSport Rating: 3 stars out of 5

We reviewed Rugby 22 on PS5.

Rugby 22 arrives today PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Order the game from Amazon here.

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