South African website www.goalkickers.co.za has devised a complicated algorithm that takes into account not only each player’s Test match goal-kicking success rate but also the difficulty of the kicks they attempted.
Factors they considered to establish difficult rating
- Distance of the kick
- Angle of the kick
- Side of field and foot used
- Score difference (to indicate pressure)
- 1st half/2nd half
The website cites that, based on past goal kick data, distance and angle carry by far the most weigh.
SELECTED GOALKICKERS AND THEIR RANKINGS SINCE 2015
Rank, Player, Success Rate, Value Added
1, Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 87%, 30
2, Dan Biggar (Wales), 89%, 24
3, Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), 84%, 22
4, Owen Farrell (England), 79%, 19
5, Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina), 84%, 15
6, Handre Pollard (South Africa), 76%, 14
10, Rhys Priestland (Wales), 94%, 6
11, Dan Carter (New Zealand), 76%, 5
14, Rhys Patchell (Wales), 82%, 3
15, Finn Russell (Scotland), 81%, 3
17, Bernard Foley (Australia), 79%, 3
23, Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand), 81%, 1
24, Gareth Anscombe (Wales), 84%, 1
28, Camille Lopez (France), 82%, 0
38, George Ford (England), 75%, -3
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15. Serge Blanco (France)
The French icon’s international career with France saw the flamboyant fullback perform various outlandish levels of skill while winning Five Nation Grand Slams in 1981 and 1987 as well as four further titles.
Blanco was a threat from everywhere on the field and often took risks that we very rarely see nowadays. In total, he won 93 caps for France during his 11-year international career between 1980 and 1991, which was a record when he retired.
He also scored an imposing 233 points and is a true legend of the sport.
Did you know: Images of Blanco’s on-field heroics can always be viewed ironically alongside images of him strutting along the touchline nursing a cigarette.
Honourable mentions: JPR Williams (Wales), Jason Robinson (England), Percy Montgomery (South Africa)
14. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
The New Zealander remains the joint all-time top try scorer at the Rugby World Cup along with Bryan Habana, crossing the whitewash on 15 different occasions across the 1995 and 1999 tournaments.
Originally of Tongan descent, it was Lomu who made it glamorous to be a big, bruising winger, even though his stature could have easily seen him fill in at centre or somewhere in the pack.
Much like the Juggernaut of the Marvel Universe, there wasn’t much that could stop Lomu once he’d gotten into a stride.
Did you know: In September 2009, Lomu took part in an amateur bodybuilding contest, finishing second in two categories
Honourable mentions: Bryan Habana (South Africa), Doug Howlett (New Zealand), Shane Williams (Wales)
13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
The former Ireland and British and Irish Lions Skipper Brian O’Driscoll was one of the most consistent performers in the world for over a decade.
He hung up his boots in 2014 after accumulating 133 caps for Ireland with a fantastic return of 245 points. In the emerald green, he triumphed in the Six Nations in 2009 (Grand Slam) and 2014 as well as being chosen as Player of the Tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
The Dublin-born is also the highest all-time Irish record try scorer with an incredible 46 scores, and also led his country more times than any other player.