Three of the Best Rugby Union Kickers of All Time

Three of the Best Rugby Union Kickers of All Time

For a player to be an effective kicker in rugby union they need to have an array of attributes and skills. 

There’s much more to it than just sticking your boot through the ball, it requires knowledge and consideration of everything from where to place the ball, the different angles for point scoring, what type of strike, the type of follow-through and how much power, to name just a few examples.

What this also means is that kicking is part of the game that suits certain players better than others, which begs the question of ‘who is considered to be the best in the sport both past and present?’. 

Here we’ve selected three such individuals and explained a bit more about why they’re so revered and respected as rugby union kickers. 

Jonny Wilkinson

With his unique kicking stance, accuracy and power Jonny Wilkinson could kick points for fun at domestic and international level and is arguably the best kicker of his generation. Beyond just that winning drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, he amassed over 5,000 points during his career and his kicking abilities ultimately helped him to become one of the game’s most decorated players. 

Dan Carter 

New Zealand’s Dan Carter had the gift of being able to kick with either foot giving him the versatility to score points from almost any angle. The fly-half is also famed for his kicking technique and an almost sixth-sense for knowing exactly how and where to strike the ball. He’s another player who is considered up there with the best with a memorable World Cup final. Specifically in the 2015 tournament where the All Blacks were victorious, largely thanks to Carter successfully kicking two conversions, a drop goal and four penalties. 

Leigh Halfpenny

Welsh full-back Leigh Halfpenny is another sublime kicker and attributes his accuracy and technique to regular training, having an upright stance and the right mindset. This has served him well and his success rate is above 90% in all competitions. On top of this he has now scored over 1,600 points during his senior club career and for Wales has over 750 points in just under 100 appearances. 

However, as he’s still playing for both club and country there’s every chance Halfpenny could go on to better the achievements of Wilkinson and Carter before he hangs up his boots.