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Round the corner kicking was an innovation in the 1940s of Willie Horne, the Barrow, Lancashiremarker, England and Great Britain captain and rugby league player. His distinctive round the corner style of kicking enabled him to kick over 100 goals in the 1945-46 season and then he scored more than 700 goals for his club Barrow before his retirement in 1969. He is regarded as the original inventor of this system of kicking and the soft-toed boots he used at the time reflected his alternative to the toe-end style of kicking which was then prevalent in both league and union throughout the world before he revolutionised place kicking for all time.

Round, or around, the corner kicking used in rugby for kicking penalties and converting tries, was originated at Lewis School, Pengammarker, Glamorganmarker during the 1962/63 season in an under 14's rugby union match between Pengam and Yr Graddfa, by Terry Dipple scrum-half for the Pengam team.

The year previous he and other kickers had been using conventional "toe poke" style kicking, which had been used since the game of rugby had been invented, with some success. But not to the extent seen in the 1962/63 season, as very few kicks were missed and the points tally for that season were 129 - 3

The first global exponent of the 'round the corner' style was Barry John. It led to a significant increase in the number of 'round the corner' style players in the 1970's- Andy Irvine, Phil Bennett, Gerald Bosch. In New Zealandmarker, they held onto the 'straight up & down', or 'toehack' as it was called down under, with such players as BG Williams, Bevan Wilson, Steve Watt.....until Alan Hewson came on the scene, the glove wearing kicker who kicked the last minute penalty at Eden Park in 1981, in an South Africa - New Zealand game. (CLA)


The proponents of Round The Corner kicking which is the generally required method of kicking in rugby union today argue that greater accuracy and range can be obtained by this method compared to the Toe Kick method.

It can be argued that:
  1. You use the flat side of the foot eliminating the chance of not kicking the ball in the center. (Flat toe boots however were used by toe kickers up till the seventies to eliminate this problem. Flat toe boots are still available from a USA website and used by American football kickers.)
  2. If you swing your leg sideways you can extend your foot further than with the toe kick method giving greater speed to the foot and better momentum transfer.


The disadvantage of round the corner may be that it is more difficult to aim the ball especially when kicking from the side of the field, this requires greater accuracy to get the ball between the poles.Players using this method do carefully measured steps to put them in the right position to kick the ball in the desired direction.

Nevertheless some older players that used the Toe Kick method in the seventies argue that there is little difference between Round The Corner and Toe Kicking and that Round The Corner Kicking is just a fad.


  1. (see 1963 Lewis School yearly magazine article written by games master D.B.D.)

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