The Bath fly-half gives his top tips on mastering this skill

How to cross-field kick – by Orlando Bailey

A cross-field kick can be a great attacking weapon. Here Bath fly-half Orlando Bailey, who has been called into the England set-up this season, explains how to master the skill…

Time it right

“When I decide to kick a cross-field, I’m first of all scanning to see where the deep defenders are. I’m also listening to feedback from other players.

“One of the best times to kick is after we’ve made a break. You’ve manipulated the deep defenders and they might have just one man back to cover a kick.”

Set square

“I’ll try to square my hips, so they face the target. You want to be looking for a low punchy kick, like a kick-pass. I’ll let the ball drop a little lower to the ground before I hit it.

“We always want our wingers to be the option. We do analysis throughout the week to see how the opposition defend, but if you don’t have that option you can spot how the deep defenders operate during the game.”

Mix it up

“I used to practise a lot of different kicks when I was a kid in the garden. I would try to kick off the side of my foot and chip over the top of the defence. If you’re adaptable and have those different tools in your locker, you will be more effective.”

Be brave

“It is high risk. But it’s a case of practising the skill and getting that input from your other players that it is a good option. Then it’s just being brave with it.

“It’s always better to have a go and play to the space when it is there rather than thinking afterwards, ‘If only, if only I had been brave’.”

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 edition of Rugby World.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.