Shane Williams is adamant that rugby's escalating aerial ping-pong will not kick his renowned running game into touch.
Williams goes into Saturday’s Millennium Stadium clash between Wales and Argentina with world-class figures of 46 tries in 66 Tests.
But if he fails to score against the Pumas - or against Australia next week - 2009 will prove the most barren scoring year of his Wales career.
Whether that is coincidence or a direct product of the game’s endless kicking bouts remains open to debate, but the Welsh wing wizard has scored just two tries this year, compared with nine in 2008 and five during 2007.
Williams accepts the kicking game is now an integral part of the sport. Statistics show the world’s top two sides, South Africa and New Zealand, put boot to ball more than any other.
The 32-year-old has worked hard to sharpen that aspect of his armoury, although he admits: “It is probably not a game that suits me.”
And Williams, current International Rugby Board player of the year, fervently hopes there can still be a place for entertainers alongside the tacticians.
“I watched the England game against Argentina last weekend and there was a lot of kicking. That is the way the game has gone these days,” he said.
“But usually with the ping-pong, as we call it, it does create holes and gaps, which is where I come into my own.
“It is something I’ve had to work very hard on in training. Kicking and regaining possession and finding space with the foot is something I haven’t really had to do over the years.
“I would rather games to be far more open with the ball being thrown around a little bit, but that’s rugby at the moment.
“Sometimes there seems there is kicking for the sake of kicking, which is where you have got to get the mix right.
“We know the modern game has a lot to do with kicking and regaining and finding space and territory, but there is a time and a place to mix it up as well.
“It would be nice to run a few tries back. There is so much emphasis on kicking the ball these days that every time you get the ball you are thinking ‘Am I doing something wrong by running with the ball?’
“I am afraid that is not my mentality. First and foremost I want to beat players and get involved, but the kicking game does win matches, even if it is not pretty.”