Alive and kicking

To succeed in international rugby union a team needs a top quality goal kicker.

With tight, rugby league-style defences and good team discipline, a side that squanders its penalties or conversions cannot expect to win a Test match. So what’s the secret behind the perfect rugby kick?

A lonely job

With modern goal kickers expected to be near flawless, James Hook provides a personal insight into taking the big pressure kicks.

When the heat is on, a kicker falls back on his carefully-honed routine. From cleaning the mud off his boots to tossing a few blades of grass into the air, each has his own tried and trusted pre-kick ritual… but then it all comes down to the biomechanics of the kick itself.

Changing styles

As rugby union has evolved from an amateur pastime to a professional sport, the game’s approach to the place kick has been refined and perfected.