To become a successful rugby team, it is vital that your team boasts a successful place-kicker. All the best teams in the world all have one. For the All Blacks, it’s Beauden Barrett, Wales have Leigh Halfpenny and for Ireland, it’s Jonny Sexton.
In terms of kicking tees, rugby has come a long way since players would take a lump of sand out a bucket, and shove a ball on top of it. Tees are now created to suit different kicking techniques.
Here at First XV Rugbystuff.com, we are often asked which is the best kicking tee to choose from the different tees we stock, including the ever-popular Dan Carter Supertee, so here we will analyse them, allowing you to decide which type of kicker you are before the new season kicks off.
Dan Carter Supertee Designed and used by the legendary New Zealand no. 10 throughout his career, the soft rubber in this tee allows for a more powerful kick, whilst the design means the ball placement is flexible, and the area in which you kick the ball can be manipulated.
Gilbert 320 & 450 Precision Tee Used by the likes of Jonny Sexton & Finn Russell, and formerly Chris Paterson & Jonny Wilkinson, the Gilbert 320 & 450 are very similar to the Supertee, in that the design allows players to place the ball in various positions.
The moulded rubber is also very useful - slightly heavier than the Dan Carter range, making it ideal for those classic British miserable days, when the tee could easily be blown away with the wind.
The low set design of the 320 tee can be a challenge for some novice kickers to get right, but as long as you strike a little way up from the bottom point of the ball to clear the ground with your kicking foot, you won't have any problems.
Gilbert Adjustable Tee We’ve all played in those matches when it seems like there has been four seasons in one day, from rain to hail then sunshine to sleet. The telescopic tee allows you to dictate what height you would like to kick the ball at.
Obviously in those windy days, you might want a lower trajectory to keep the ball as straight as possible, whilst in perfect conditions; you can adjust the tee to a higher stand.
As a general rule, the younger you are, the higher the tee should be, making this perfect for children of all ages. But remember, as important as it is to have the correct kicking tee, it's even more vital that you have the correct footwear for the conditions, or that ball is going nowhere near the target!