The Saracens and England talisman explains the ground rules for punting the ball

Owen Farrell: How to kick out of hand

Owen Farrell is renowned for the accuracy of his goalkicking, whether for Saracens, England or the Lions. But putting boot to ball in open play is another part of his considerable skill-set. Here the fly-half/inside-centre talks through kicking out of hand…

Follow your instincts

“You need your hands around the ball to be able to do anything with it – to pass it, kick it, run with it, anything. Usually 
you don’t have a preconceived idea that you’re going to kick the ball straightaway; sometimes you just drop it onto your foot.

“I find kicking quite instinctive, and you get 
a lot of feedback from the feel of it.”

Point to target

“When punting, obviously you point the ball in the direction that you want it to go. Then you want to kick up through the ball, cutting through the middle 
of it.

“The main thing is getting your bodyweight going through it – not just making it about the kick but about where your body’s going so that the ball will follow.”

Find the right height

“If you make it about where your body’s going then the follow-through takes care of itself. The hardest part of the punt kick is to hit low. If I hit high to the target I’ll probably lean back more. Whereas if I hit low, it makes the body go through the ball and past the target. So in practice, hit low and you’ll get through the ball a lot further.”


Practise on both feet

“I practise most days. A lot of punting can be done in warm-ups and kicking sessions. You just need one team-mate, then kick the ball to each other.

“You’re aiming for contact through the bootlaces. And use both feet – I wouldn’t say I was the same off both sides but I’d be confident enough.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.

Every month Rugby World features advice from professional players and coaches on specific skills.

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