It’s quite fitting that the renaissance of drop goals occurred in France this summer after gradually becoming a dying art form. 

Jonny Wilkinson dropping into the pocket to kick England to World Cup glory against Australia in 2003 remains one of the most iconic moments in the modern game, while Ronan O’Gara’s late effort against Wales in 2009 secured Ireland’s first Grand Slam title in 61 years. 

Edinburgh’s Hive Stadium on a Monday afternoon after training doesn’t represent the grandeur of those occasions but Ben Healy’s decision to commit time to practice drop-goals highlights their return to fashion

George Forde kicked a hat-trick of drop goals to ensure England beat Argentina against the odds at the World Cup and Healey wants to keep that weapon up his sleeve.

“Yeah, for whatever reason,” Healy replied when asked if drop goals had become a forgotten art form. “I think teams just feel like if you miss you’re giving the ball away, but I mean you’re still getting a 22 restart coming back at you.

“Things like wind and all this play into it - if they’re hitting a 22 into the wind, getting it back. So even if you miss there’s still probably going to be a good outcome. All these things come into consideration. I just like to have it in the back pocket if I need to pull it out at any time.”

“Not necessarily because of the World Cup - it’s something that I just wanted to have as an option here going forward. It’s nice if things maybe aren’t going your way to have that option to be able to take three. It’s not necessarily something you always want to go to, but depending on what teams are giving you and where you think you can get after teams, it’s good to have in the back pocket.”

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Healy’s renowned kicking precision was on display for Scotland at the World Cup - 100% success rate from 11 attempts against Romania - and on debut for Edinburgh on Saturday.

The 24-year-old’s trusted right-boot provided 17 points as Edinburgh battled back from a 14-point deficit to their first away win in the URC for a year against the Dragons. Head coach Sean Everitt highlighted Edinburgh’s measly success rate of 62% from the tee last season as an area to improve and Healy attributes his excellence in that regard to his former skills coach at Munster. 

“I’d credit a lot of the coaches I’ve had,” Healy admitted.  “I came from a club where I had a really good skills coach, Pat Whelan. He’s worked with a number of good kickers - I had him for about ten years, to be honest. So I credit him - he taught me the basics really young and taught me the value of ‘the more time you put in, the more you get out’. 

“Yeah, I would probably have to give credit to him and a few more coaches along the way. Come game day it’s pretty much all mental. But you need to have that ban of work behind you so you have confidence in what you’re doing.”

Everitt cited fly-half Healy’s kicking performance as central to Edinburgh’s win and it was more impressive when you consider that he only met his new teammates days before, which posed some problems. 

“Names took a little while to tick off, yeah,” Healy joked. “I suppose towards the end of the week I started to get everyone. But that’s part of the job of being a 10, being assertive. 

“The biggest thing is that the guys around you have confidence in what you’re doing - so you can’t really give off any shades of doubt or any shades that you might be one or two steps behind in terms of what the club or the team is trying to do.

“So [it’s about] trying to paint the picture that I know what’s going on and I have a clear understanding of how we want to play and what I want the men around me to do.

“It will probably take a little bit of time. We’re not there yet, I wouldn’t say, but we’re getting there. It’s been quick in terms of how I’ve settled in - the lads have made it very easy.

“In terms of the game plan, at the weekend it was quite straightforward what we wanted to do, and the same again going forward on this weekend. So there hasn’t been too much for me to do, but I wouldn’t say I’ll fully fit in for a number of weeks, to be honest, in terms of being exactly crystal clear on what we need to do. But then again we don’t want to peak at this time of year either, do we? It’s looking good at the moment.”

Healy’s seamless integration into life at Edinburgh has been appreciated by his new teammates - especially his fellow backs. Mark Bennett was wowed by Healey’s leadership skills immediately after arriving at his new club and he’s already commanded the respect of his changing room.

“I think the huge thing last week was he came in and he really took the reins,” Bennett added. “He came in and he was very clear on ‘This is what I’m looking for, this is what I need’. And he’s been really vocal in calling people and giving that constructive criticism to get them into places where we need them.  He’s come in and really taken hold of the attack shape, which has been really good. And obviously his performance at the weekend - he was excellent. He kicked them off the park. 

“You know what he’s about. You’ve seen him play for Munster. He was excellent at the tail-end of last season, he did what he did for Scotland, so he’s a guy who has come in and the players here have got a hell of a lot of respect for him in terms of what he’s achieved. And now it’s his turn to do it for us.”