Place kicking is a crucial aspect of rugby, and throughout history, there have been exceptional kickers who have left their mark on the game. From their accuracy under pressure to their ability to score vital points, these players have showcased their skills and cemented their place among the best place kickers in rugby history. In this blog, we will explore the top 10 place kickers who have made a significant impact on the sport.

 

  1. Dan Carter (New Zealand): Dan Carter, a true maestro of the game, possessed exceptional place kicking skills. His accuracy and ability to slot penalties and conversions from various angles and distances were unparalleled. Carter's record as the highest point scorer in test rugby history speaks volumes about his kicking prowess.

  2. Jonny Wilkinson (England): Jonny Wilkinson is widely regarded as one of the greatest place kickers in rugby history. His iconic drop goal in the final moments of the 2003 Rugby World Cup secured England's victory and etched his name in rugby folklore. Wilkinson's technique, consistency, and ability to handle pressure made him a true legend of the game.

  3. Neil Jenkins (Wales): Neil Jenkins, known as "The Boot," was a key figure in Wales' success during the 1990s. His deadly accurate goal kicking, including a remarkable 87% success rate in international matches, played a significant role in Wales' victories. Jenkins' ability to score points from long range made him a formidable opponent.

  4. Grant Fox (New Zealand): Grant Fox was a pioneer of place kicking in rugby. His contribution to New Zealand's success in the late 1980s and early 1990s cannot be overstated. Fox's pinpoint accuracy and ability to control the game through his kicking made him a vital asset for the All Blacks.

  5. Gavin Hastings (Scotland): Gavin Hastings was a dominant force in Scottish rugby and a remarkable place kicker. His consistency and ability to convert difficult kicks into points made him one of the most respected kickers of his time. Hastings' leadership and kicking prowess were instrumental in Scotland's successes.



  6. Morné Steyn (South Africa): Morné Steyn is renowned for his long-range kicking abilities. His accuracy and ability to slot penalties from incredible distances made him a valuable asset for the Springboks. Steyn's crucial kicks in the 2009 series against the British and Irish Lions secured South Africa's victory.

  7. Andrew Mehrtens (New Zealand): Andrew Mehrtens was a gifted playmaker and an exceptional place kicker. His ability to control the game and convert difficult kicks with ease made him a vital component of New Zealand's success. Mehrtens' accuracy and calmness under pressure were second to none.

  8. Stephen Jones (Wales): Stephen Jones was a consistent and reliable place kicker for Wales. His ability to slot penalties and conversions with precision made him one of the top kickers in the world. Jones' contribution to Wales' successes in the early 2000s cannot be overlooked.

  9. Michael Lynagh (Australia): Michael Lynagh was a key figure in Australian rugby and an outstanding place kicker. His accuracy and ability to score crucial points in high-pressure situations were invaluable for the Wallabies. Lynagh's kicking prowess played a significant role in Australia's success during the 1980s and early 1990s.

  10. Diego Dominguez (Italy): Diego Dominguez, an Argentine-born Italian rugby player, was a prolific place kicker. His ability to convert difficult kicks from various angles and distances made him a feared opponent. Dominguez's accuracy and consistency were instrumental in Italy's rise in international rugby.

The history of rugby is rich with remarkable place kickers who have left an indelible mark on the sport. Each of the individuals mentioned in this list has played a vital role in their respective teams' success, and their precision and accuracy from the tee have often been the difference between victory and defeat. While these ten players are among the greatest place kickers in rugby history, the sport continues to evolve, and new stars will undoubtedly emerge to carry on the tradition of excellence in kicking.

September 04, 2023 — Peter Breen

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