One of the longest-standing individual world records in international rugby comes under threat in the latest episode of the Ultimate Rugby Challenge: North v South, which is now available to watch on World Rugby’s YouTube channel.
Two of the longest kickers in the game – All Blacks full-back Jordie Barrett and British and Irish Lions and England back Elliot Daly – go head-to-head in an attempt to beat Paul Thorburn’s monster kick for Wales against Scotland in 1986.
Thorburn astounded the crowd at the old Cardiff Arms Park, and legendary BBC commentator and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Bill McLaren, when he stepped up to slot a penalty from all of 64.2 metres.
“You won’t believe this, that is the Welsh 10-metre line, and Paul Thorburn is going to attempt a goal. It is miles to those goal posts,” an incredulous McLaren said in his commentary.
Scarcely believing that the Welsh full-back would even try such an audacious strike, McLaren was left even more dumb-founded when the ball actually cleared the crossbar.
“Woof, what a belt he has given it. That is amazing. I’ve seen all the great goalkickers in the world over the last decade but I have never seen a kick like this one. He gave it a monster smack.”
Neither Daly or Barrett were born when Thorburn entered the record books but both have reputations for possessing big boots themselves.
And it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top in the challenge to topple Thorburn’s never-to-be-forgotten effort.
“I’ve been watching Jordie kick for a few years now, and yeah, he is obviously a quality kicker and kicks it a long way,” said Daly, who was recently named in the Lions squad to tour South Africa.
“My routine is pretty simple, I put the ball down, take a few steps back and just try and kick the ball as hard as possible really
“If I’m on my A-game, I have got a chance today. I hope I’ve got 60 metres in me, but we’ll see.”
Barrett was equally complimentary about his more experienced adversary. “Elliot is a gun player, a big raking left boot off the tee and punt so it’s a good challenge of left versus right.
“There are three people watching and normally there’s 33,000 so there’s definitely a bit more pressure on me.”
Without giving the game away, the challenge went right down to the wire. To see who came out on top, and whether the world record was broken, check out the official World Rugby YouTube channel.