This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse RFU.com you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more by viewing our privacy and cookie policy.

Kicking

There are three types of kick used in rugby union and any player who can master them all is a huge asset to any team.

Leicester fly half Toby Flood kicks at goal

Photo: Getty Images

Goal Kick

These are awarded either after scoring a try or when the opposition and in both cases they give the kicking team a chance to score points.

The Aim

  • To kick the ball from the ground over the bar and between the posts

The Preparation

  • Using a kicking tee, set the ball up with its seam pointing towards the centre of the posts
  • The goal kick is one of the only times in the game when you will have plenty of time to make the kick so develop your own routine
  • Stand over the ball in the kicking position to make sure it is in the right place to strike
  • Stepping backwards, measure out your run-up . The length of the run up is entirely up to you
  • Relax and focus on the kick, think positively and picture the ball sailing straight through the posts

The Kick

  • Run up to the ball in an arc
  • When you reach the ball, plant your standing foot as near to the ball as possible for stability
  • The shoulder on the same side as your standing foot should not be side on to the try-line
  • Keep your body weight forward and over the ball
  • Strike the ball with your toes pointed and ankle rigid

The Follow Through

  • Swing your leg all the way through the kick
  • Follow through with your toes pointing in the direction of the target
Jonny Wilkinson of England attempts a drop goal during the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final

Photo: Getty Images

Drop Goal

Taken during open play as an attempt to score points by kicking at goal, for a drop goal to score, the ball must hit the ground before being kicked.

The Aim

  • To kick the ball over the bar and between the posts on the ‘half volley’

The Preparation

  • Keep your eyes on the ball throughout the kick (no matter how many opposition players are marauding towards you)
  • Hold the ball along its side with your fingers outstretched and pointing down
  • The ball should be held vertically at waist height, angled slightly towards you
  • Drop the ball so that it falls vertically, upright and angled slightly towards you

The Kick

  • Keep your head down
  • Swing your kicking leg as the ball drops so that you connect with the balls fractionally after it bounces
  • Use the instep of your foot to strike the ball

The Follow Through

  • Swing your leg all the way through the kick in the direction you want the ball to travel
  • Keep your head down and your eyes on the point where your foot made contact with the ball
Ryan Lamb of London Irish kicks during the Guinness Premiership match

Photo: Getty Images

Kicking From Hand

The various types of kicks from hand, or punts, are used in different situations during the game, and each requires a slightly different technique.

The Aim

  • Chip kicks, spiral kicks, box kicks and end-over-end kicks are used to relieve pressure for a team that has been defending
  • The can be used to gain territory
  • They can put a defence under pressure

The Preparation

  • Hold the ball at waist height an arm’s length from the body
  • Steady yourself and make sure you are balanced

The Kick

  • Release the ball so that it drops onto your foot, don’t throw it upwards first
  • Keep your ankle tense and strike through the ball
  • For distance point your toes and keep your head down
  • For height, bend your foot up towards your ankle

The Follow Through

  • Remain balanced after the kick on a steady standing leg
  • Your leg should accelerate at impact in a smooth motion
  • Keep your head down and your body over the ball
  • Keep your kicking leg straight and your toes pointed in the direction you want the ball to travel
 

Find your local Rugby club

IBM TryTracker