Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World



'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era'

Stuart Hogg retires young, but retires a giant of Scottish sport.

RugbyPass+ Home

The small tip that helped turn Brett Connon into a world class kicker

By Chris Jones
Brett Connon of Newcastle Falcons concentrates before kicking a conversion during the Gallagher Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors at Kingston Park, Newcastle on Saturday 5th June 2021. (Photo by Chris Lishman/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Former England outside half Dave Walder has revealed the crucial advice that has turned Brett Connon into a “world class kicker” and helped Newcastle pick up vital Premiership points.


The Newcastle No.10 landed a last gasp penalty to earn Falcons a losing bonus point at league leaders Saracens that made it five out of five kicks in the 29-23 loss. That followed on from seven from seven when he helped defeat reigning champions Leicester 45-26 at Kingston Park. Now, Connon will be bringing an impressive kicking success rate this season of 84 per cent into the game with London Irish on Sunday and Walder, the Falcons head coach, is delighted with his player’s contribution in a difficult season.

Walder amassed 1039 Premiership points in a playing career that took him from Newcastle to Wasps and onto Japan and also earned four England caps that brought 41 points. He is using this kicking expertise to help Connon whose boot ensured home wins over Tigers, Exeter and Sale this season. Walder explained: “I made a slight change to the way Brett was positioning the ball on the tee. I felt he was leaning it too far forward and missing the sweet spot a little bit and so we talked about how he could change. He has come back and his kicking statistics are now world class.

Video Spacer

Mike Brown and Ollie Lawrence | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 66
Video Spacer
Mike Brown and Ollie Lawrence | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 66

“At the start of the season we felt our goal kickers accuracy was letting us down a bit in games and we talked about and they all went away and worked hard. Brett is now kicking at a high percentage and he is leading they way with 84 per cent.

“Across the league, goal kicking is so important with close matches and everyone will say that the kick Brett got for the bonus point at Saracens was great and it was, but the conversions of the tries in tough, windy conditions that kept us in touch so that we could earn that losing point. Brett is right up there with the best in the Premiership at the moment.

“There are particular challenges kicking at Kingston Park with the way the wind comes into the stadium and I think it sets him up for dealing with the different problems you face across the Premiership at different stadiums. If he can kick at Kingston Park then he can kick anywhere.”


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
RUGBYPASS+ Irish march towards Premiership play-offs Irish march towards Premiership play-offs