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How to kick like a world-class rugby player

The punt

The most basic kick in rugby, the punt is used to clear the ball in defence, to gain territory and as an attacking weapon. It is a very simple rugby kicking technique and everyone in the team should be able to execute it to some degree.

If you are kicking with the right foot, hold the ball with your left hand slightly forward and your right hand towards the rear. Step forward and plant your non-kicking foot firmly on the ground as you drop the ball onto your kicking foot. Aim to make contact with the top of your foot and your toes pointing down. Keep your eyes on the ball and follow through after striking it.

The place kick

The place kicker’s role is vital; he scores the points from penalties and conversions, which often dictate the outcome of the game. It is the main kick in rugby that is only handled by specialist with hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of practice.

Place the ball on the kicking tee so that it is leaning slightly forwards (so exposing the sweet spot, which is about one third up from the bottom) in the direction of your target and take a couple of paces back to check the alignment. Stand over the ball with your kicking foot just behind it and check it is in the correct position. Keeping your eye on the sweet spot, measure your run up and steady yourself.

Before kicking, take another look at your target, re-focus on the sweet spot and approach the ball. Plant your non-kicking foot as near to the ball as possible and strike with your instep, keeping your weight over the ball and your opposite shoulder pointing towards the target.

Follow through with your leg high and foot still aiming in the direction you wanted to kick. Keep your head down during the kick and look afterwards for the result!

The drop kick

Used for restarts or to score field goals, the drop kick is a handy part of the rugby player’s repertoire.

With your target selected, hold the ball in both hands with the point downwards. Step forwards with your non-kicking foot and drop the ball from waist height. As the ball bounces, strike it with the instep of your kicking foot ensuring that you have a high follow-through. Keep our head down and your eyes on the ball the whole time.

To see rugby balls available for kicking practice, check out the Canterbury store.

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