1. Nick Stiles
Big fan of the grubber kick, Stiles made his test match debut in the series win over the British and Irish Lions in 2001. He now coaches the Reds and a short glimpse at the results for him in a youtube search show he’s now a big fan of kicking his players while they’re down.
2. Huia Edmonds
He sparked ‘Edmania’ with his outrageous chip-and-chases coming off the bench late in his career for the Brumbies. This audacious style of play earnt him four wallaby caps back in 2010 as well as a lifelong cult following.
3. Matt Dunning
Owner of the second most famous drop goal in Australian rugby. Dunning’s accurate right boot is matched only by his fondness of an intercept. Dunning is also known for finally getting fit after retiring from elite sport.
4. John Eales (c)
The best kickers are the ones that can perform any time, any place, anywhere. Eales was able to slot a clutch after-the-siren match winner on the mostly submerged, far away continent of Zealandia and hence was able to return with their former governor general’s oversized novelty urn.
5. Scott Fardy
Saved Australia from an almost certain Genia or Foley charge-down in the 2015 RWC final. Fardy showed the ball who was boss nudging it a handy distance down field and keeping Aussie hopes alive.
6. George Smith
Apparently one of the worst kickers at training was never gun shy during the games, and for good reason, he’s a fantastic exponent of finding space behind the opponent’s defence. He even picked out his ‘kick-the-cover-off-it’ teammate during the 2004 super rugby final.
7. Liam Gill
Just like his cricketing brother of the same name, Gilly bats left handed but tees off with his right, the Bulls are still complaining about him putting a squash ball in his boot to aid his long range drop goal against them.
8. Scott Higginbotham
Dropped from the current team for being a better kicker than the designated players. Higgers chip-kick and regather against Samoa back in 2011 was fancy in a losing effort.
9. Nick White
Big arse = big boot. White may not be tall but he can still slam it in from outside 50. The All Blacks won’t forget being punished by White when he came on to score 10 points (5 off the boot) and win the 2015 Sydney match.
10. Mike Harris
A sharpshooter from the tee, Mikey can also easily spank the ball through from 50+ metres often without the ball drifting one way or another. His efforts in 2012 are what have kept our streak against Wales going and made it even more impressive.
11. Jesse Mogg
Long levers make his kicking look effortless but impressive. His raking left tactical kicks are backed up by his occasionally accurate goal kicking, the latter trait was used to beat the British and Irish Lions back in 2013, something that hadn’t been achieved by a club side for 42 years.
12. Reece Hodge
With legs like tree trunks Hodge can kick it from 76m. When he lines up from that distance one of his locks (not the captain) can be heard saying, “don’t be ridiculous Reece”.
13. Stirling Mortlock
Unlike Sampson, losing his hair didn’t weaken his boot. Brought the columns down from the sideline in South Africa back in his debut year in 2000 for a tri nations victory and did the same thing to the Crusaders in 2009. Like Dunning, was also keen on the intercept.
14. Mark Gerrard
The master of ’round-the-corner punts, “Gerrardo’s” kick was super accurate and often landed a team a 5 metre line out from inside his own half. His unique kicking style was due to chronic hamstring problem, and the IRB promptly increased the lateral rotation of the hips during kicks to touch from 5 degrees to 15 to after the New Zealand public started calling him a ‘snapper’.
15. Chris Latham
Didn’t need the ‘Gerrardo’ (but it’s great to have them in the same team) when you had an expert exponent of the torp. In his return match from an ACL injury Chris was single handedly keeping the Wallabies in the game constantly turning the kiwi’s 60m around. Also any player of the ps2 game, ‘EA sports rugby 08’, knows that when it comes to big boots Latham is the greatest fullback.
Head Coach – Matt Burke
One of the most accurate kickers of all time. After reaching in all his goals in 1999, when his team went for the posts, Burke then resorted to aiming solely at a post. A tactic he was successful at and it prematurely ended his career with the Waratahs.
Forwards Coach – Jeremy Paul
A forward who played like a back, Paul seems the obvious option to teach his team how to be great exponents of their natural games. Paul always seemed to have time to spare with ball in hand and that could be spent putting it to the boot.