Jonny Wilkinson

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Jonny Wilkinson OBE
Jonny Wilkinson 2011 (cropped).jpg
Full name Jonathan Peter Wilkinson
Date of birth (1979-05-25) 25 May 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth Frimley, Surrey, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) [1]
Weight 89 kg (14 st 0 lb) [1]
School Lord Wandsworth College
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half, Inside centre
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Farnham
correct as of 8 July 2014.
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1997–2009
2009–2014
Newcastle Falcons
Toulon
182
141
(2,049)
(1,884)
correct as of 8 July 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1998–2011
2001, 2005
England England
United Kingdom B&I Lions
91 [2]
6
(1,179)
(67)
correct as of 8 July 2014.
Official website
http://www.jonnywilkinson.com

Jonathan Peter "Jonny" Wilkinson OBE[3] (born 25 May 1979) is a former rugby union player who represented England and the British and Irish Lions. Wilkinson rose to acclaim from 2001 to 2003 before and during the 2003 Rugby World Cup and was acknowledged as one of the world's best rugby union players.[4]

He was an integral member of the 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning England squad, scoring the winning drop goal in the last minute of extra time against Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. He then came back from several injuries to lead England to the final of the 2007 World Cup. He played his club rugby union for Toulon following twelve seasons in the English Premiership with the Newcastle Falcons. Wilkinson has also toured twice with the British and Irish Lions, in 2001 to Australia and 2005 to New Zealand, scoring 67 Test points in the 6 Lions test matches he has started. On 3 April 2009 at Guildford Cathedral, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Surrey for services to the sports industry.[5] He announced his retirement from the English national squad in early December 2011.[6]

Wilkinson retired from all rugby after the end of the 2013–14 season.[7][8]

Early life[edit]

Born in Frimley, Surrey, Wilkinson attended Pierrepont School, Frensham, Surrey and Lord Wandsworth College near Odiham, Hampshire. Jonny grew up in Farnham, and played at a youth level for Farnham Rugby Club.[9] He gained a place at the University of Durham. However, in 1997 he gave up the student life to become a professional rugby union player with the Newcastle Falcons.[10]

Career[edit]

1998–2000[edit]

Wilkinson playing for Newcastle

Wilkinson started his career at Newcastle School of Rugby as an inside centre, competing for a place with international veterans such as Inga Tuigamala, and British Lion Alan Tait. He became a fixture in a side that went on to win the 1997-98 Allied Dunbar Premiership title. By March 1998 he was in the full England Test squad. Wilkinson began his international career as an unused replacement against Scotland, before coming off the bench, replacing Mike Catt, to play on the wing against Ireland at Twickenham on 4 April 1998; he was only 18.[11][12]

He then participated in England's 'Tour of Hell' in June 1998 that saw them suffer heavy defeats to both New Zealand and Australia (who defeated them 76–0). Wilkinson returned to domestic duties by taking over from Rob Andrew, who was made Falcons head coach (later Director of Rugby), as both their fly-half and goal kicker. Wilkinson became a fixture in the England team, and started in all their matches in the 1999 Five Nations Championship. He also played for the Falcons in their 1999 Tetley’s Bitter Cup final defeat to the London Wasps.

Wilkinson played for England in matches against Australia, the United States and Canada as the 1999 Rugby World Cup approached. He made his Rugby World Cup debut against Italy, scoring one try, converting another six and landing five penalty goals to rack up 32 individual points in the 67–7 win. After playing another pool game against the All Blacks, which England lost 30–16, he was rested against Tonga, a match won by England 101–10. Following the quarter-final playoff win against Fiji, Wilkinson was relegated to the bench for the quarter-final against South Africa. England lost the match by 44–21 and exited the tournament. Clive Woodward refused to expand on his selection choice at the time,[13] and following the match some commentators blamed the head coach's lack of consistency in team selection as harming England's World Cup bid.[14]

The following year Wilkinson played in all five of England's 2000 Six Nations Championship matches. England won the championship, however they missed a Grand Slam after losing their final match against Scotland. Wilkinson then toured South Africa with England in June 2000, kicking all of the points in their 27–22 win in Bloemfontein. He was then capped another three times for England during the end of year internationals.

2001–2002[edit]

Wilkinson kicking for Newcastle

In 2001, England again won the Six Nations Championship. After the opening win over Wales, Wilkinson set an individual Six Nations Championship points scoring record with 35 points against Italy at Twickenham on 17 February, to overtake the record of his Newcastle Falcons mentor, Rob Andrew. England won all their subsequent matches during the tournament, with the exception of the Irish match, which was postponed until October.

More success followed for Wilkinson after the Six Nations, as the Falcons won the Powergen Cup: a late Newcastle try saw them defeat Harlequin F.C. by three points, by 30–27. As a result of Neil Jenkins suffering a number of injuries and a dip in form, Wilkinson was picked as the first choice fly-half and goal kicker for the 2001 British Lions tour to Australia in July. The Lions won the first test over Australia by 29–13 in Brisbane, in which Wilkinson scored nine points through his kicking.

The second test, on 7 July, saw the Lions lose 35–14 at the Docklands Stadium. Wilkinson was blamed by many for throwing a long pass inside his 22 that was intercepted by Joe Roff: this was seen as the turning point in the match, and probably the test series. During the match, Wilkinson injured his leg and was stretchered off the pitch. The injury was thought to be particularly serious, but he made a full recovery before the Third and final test on 14 July. Wilkinson's try at the start of the second half ensured that, along with his kicking scores, he equalled the Lions' best individual scoring total in a Test, with 18 points.

The incomplete 2001 Six Nations Championship was concluded in October, with England playing Ireland. England lost 20–14 at Lansdowne Road. Both Ireland and England had won four out of the five Six Nations fixtures, but England’s superior points difference ensured they clinched the title although, for the second year running, not the Grand Slam. In a match against Australia for the Cook Cup in November, Wilkinson scored all of England's points in their 21–15 victory at Twickenham. After being rested as an unused bench replacement in the subsequent match against Romania, he then played a large role in a win over the Springboks, in which he kicked seven penalty goals in the 29–9 victory.

Going for a third Six Nations title in a row, England got off to a good start in their 2002 Six Nations Championship with wins over Scotland and Ireland, before losing to France at the Stade de France. England won their remaining fixtures against Wales and Italy but France went on to complete a Grand Slam. The Falcons were in Pool 6 in the 2001–02 Heineken Cup, and won one match, finishing fourth in the pool. In the November 2002 end-of-year tests England faced Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in subsequent weekends.

Wilkinson played a large role in England's match against the All Blacks. He scored a try (although he commented later that the chip he kicked over the New Zealand defence was in fact meant for Jason Robinson to receive),[15] kicked two successful conversions and three penalty goals, as well as a drop goal. England then faced the 2002 Tri Nations Series champions Australia, who came to Twickenham on the back of a loss to Ireland. Two tries by winger Ben Cohen and Wilkinson's kicking accuracy saw England come back from a 19–31 deficit to defeat Australia by a single point in a 32–31 victory.

England went into the last test against South Africa with the possibility of beating the Big Three rugby nations of the Southern Hemisphere on subsequent weekends, and defeated the Springboks by 53–3. Springbok Jannes Labuschagne was red-carded after 23 minutes for a late tackle on Wilkinson.[16] The very physical match later saw Wilkinson leave the pitch with a dislocated left shoulder. The England camp believed that Wilkinson was targeted by South Africa during the game.[17] His half-back partner Matt Dawson, who had also been forced off that match with an injury after being rammed by a Springbok player, later wrote in his autobiography Nine Lives that he felt South Africa had started out the match with the intent of injuring England players.[18]

2003 Six Nations and Victory at the World Cup[edit]

The opening match of the 2003 Six Nations Championship saw France, the reigning champions and Grand Slam winners, play England. Both teams were high in confidence, following successes in their end of year tests against nations from the Southern hemisphere. Many saw this game as the tournament decider and England won the match 25–17. Now considered favourites to win the tournament, as well as possibly a Grand Slam, England defeated Wales, Italy and Scotland. For the game against Italy, Wilkinson was chosen as the captain of the squad for the first time in his England career, as Martin Johnson was unavailable due to the birth of his first child.

The final match was against Ireland at Lansdowne Road and would determine the tournament, and Grand Slam winner of 2003. By putting more than 40 points on their opponents, winning 42–6, England became the 2003 champions and serious contenders for the upcoming 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia. Wilkinson was named Man of the Match, displaying his trademark accurate kicking and strong defensive skills.

After the Six Nations, England commenced a tour to the Southern Hemisphere, to play New Zealand and Australia in June. On 14 June and in difficult weather conditions, Wilkinson scored all 15 points as England beat New Zealand 15–13 in Wellington. He was also a major force in their 25–14 win over Australia a week later. With England's 45–14 win over France in September, in which Wilkinson scored 18 points, England were now considered one of the favourites at the World Cup, set to start in October. Wilkinson was the youngest member of England's World Cup squad.[19]

England's first match at the 2003 World Cup was at Subiaco Oval in Perth, where they defeated Georgia 84–6, with Wilkinson scoring 16 points from his goal kicking. He played a major role in the pool match against the Springboks, in which he scored 20 of England’s 25 points, in the victory which held their opponents to just six. The subsequent match against Samoa in Melbourne was surprisingly close for the number one ranked rugby nation against a supposed "minnow" of international competition, but England pulled off a 35–22 win. Wilkinson was rested for England's final win against Uruguay. England finished at the top of Pool D, four points ahead of South Africa.

England moved into the quarter finals, where they met Wales at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Wilkinson scored 23 points in the match, which England won 28–17 to proceed to the semi-finals. England met France, whom they had beaten earlier that year on two occasions. England won 24–7, with Wilkinson scoring all of England’s points through his kicking. In the final versus Australia, with the scores level at 17–17, Wilkinson received a pass and kicked a drop goal in extra time with just 26 seconds remaining; England won 20–17. The last time Australia had lost a World Cup match was eight years earlier in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, when Wilkinson's mentor Rob Andrew scored a drop goal at the stroke of full-time to win the game for England. After the match, Wilkinson expressed his relief at converting the winning drop goal, as it was his first success in four attempts during the match. The win gave England its first ever Rugby World Cup, and broke the Southern Hemisphere's dominance of the tournament in the process. Wilkinson also became the tournament's leading points scorer with 113 points.

Wilkinson was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and also named the 2003 IRB International Player of the Year. In the same year he became the youngest ever rugby union player to receive a New Year's Honour with an MBE (he was listed prior to England's World Cup victory), and an OBE which he was awarded in 2004.

2004–2005[edit]

Wilkinson training before a Six Nations match

Within a couple of weeks of winning the World Cup, Wilkinson was found to have had a broken facet in his shoulder and missed the 2004 Six Nations Championship and the disastrous tour of New Zealand and Australia. He was named Captain of the England team on 4 October 2004, replacing Lawrence Dallaglio who had resigned five weeks earlier. However, he was kept out of the 2004 autumn internationals by a haematoma in his upper right arm, the captaincy being taken over by Jason Robinson and then Martin Corry. In January 2005 he injured his medial knee ligament in a match against Perpignan. He missed the opening matches of the 2005 Six Nations Championship and on his return to Newcastle on 13 March 2005 he injured the same knee again.

In almost 18 months, he had played a total of only 937.5 minutes of competitive rugby union, but was nonetheless given a chance to prove his fitness for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. Initially Wilkinson was left out of the 44-strong squad which was announced by Clive Woodward on 11 April 2005. However, on 8 May Woodward announced he had added the fly-half to the squad after Wilkinson had proved he was injury-free and fit. Wilkinson made his first international appearance since the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final on 23 May at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as the Lions played Argentina. Wilkinson, along with the rest of the team, played poorly, but kicked a conversion and six penalties; he salvaged a 25–25 draw with the last kick of the game.

Wilkinson's next international appearance was in the Lions' first Test against New Zealand, starting at inside centre instead of his normal fly-half position. Wilkinson scored the Lions' only points in their comprehensive 21–3 defeat. In the second Test, another heavy loss, he started in his normal role of number 10, but suffered a stinger injury, which ruled him out of the Third Test. Wilkinson was replaced by Stephen Jones in the final test.

Wilkinson had to forgo participation in the Falcons' August pre-season games in Japan due to appendicitis. Then, after having appeared in five successive matches for Newcastle, the injury litany continued in late November with surgery for a sportsman's hernia, which he himself associated with the strain of his heavy training sessions, often involving two (or more) hour kicking-sessions.

2006–2007[edit]

Wilkinson signing autographs, 2007

Rob Andrew, then Director of Rugby at Falcons (Andrew has since been appointed Director of Elite Rugby for the English Rugby Football Union), said that there was no chance of Wilkinson going on England's summer tour and that he would be taking the summer off. Despite missing two conversions, he demonstrated his playmaker skills in the game against the Worcester Warriors on 30 April, in which he played the whole second half. Afterwards, Andrew reiterated that Wilkinson should not tour during the summer in order to prolong his recovery period. Wilkinson started as captain in the Falcons last 2005-06 Guinness Premiership game of the season on Saturday, 6 May 2006, converting six of his team's eight tries in their 54–19 victory over Leeds Tykes.

Rob Andrew stated in July, pre-season to the 2006-07 Guinness Premiership, that Wilkinson would be ready to challenge for an England position come the November internationals. Captaincy of the Falcons was also given to former Wallabies fullback Matthew Burke, a move that Andrew believed would allow Wilkinson to concentrate more on his game and a full return to rugby.[20] In early August head coach of England, Andy Robinson announced the Elite Player Squad for the 2006–07 season, in which Wilkinson was included.[21]

During the second game of the 2006-07 Guinness Premiership season against Worcester Warriors on Friday, 8 September, Wilkinson was helped from the pitch after 47 minutes with a knee injury incurred when one of his team members fell on him after he was tackled. A scan confirmed that he had torn the medial ligament of his right knee. He returned to play a full 80 minutes in the 26–21 win against leaders Bristol on Friday, 3 November, kicking a conversion, a drop-goal and two penalties. It was reported on 9 November that Wilkinson suffered a lacerated kidney during the match.[22] He returned from this injury in the Premiership game against Leicester Tigers on 27 January 2007, coming off the bench after 37 minutes.

Wilkinson performing his familiar pre kick ritual

On 29 January 2007, Wilkinson was selected at Fly-half in the starting line up for England in their 2007 Six Nations Championship opener against Scotland. England comprehensively beat Scotland 42–20 to regain the Calcutta Cup, Wilkinson making an impressive return,[23][24] scoring 27 points with five penalties, two conversions, a drop goal, and a try.[25] This broke the previous Calcutta Cup individual record of 24, set by Rob Andrew. Wilkinson was awarded the RBS Man of the Match as adjudicated by BBC commentator, Brian Moore.

In the following match against Italy at Twickenham, Wilkinson scored 15 points to become the highest individual point scorer in the history of the Five/Six Nations with 421 points.[26] Despite another injury scare just before the match against Ireland on 26 February at Croke Park, Wilkinson started, scoring 8 points in the game which England lost 43–13. Wilkinson did not play in the two remaining Six Nations games against France and Wales due to the effects of a cramp that forced him off in the Premiership 38–12 defeat to London Irish on 3 March.[27][28] On 13 April, he suffered a rib injury that forced him off during his fourth consecutive appearance for Newcastle in their 19–12 win over Gloucester.[29]

Despite missing the season's last Premiership game against Bath, Wilkinson made the England squad for the summer tour and scored 5 points in the first test's record 58–10 loss to South Africa.[30][31] He scored 17 points in the second test, which England lost 55–22.[32] In the first of three warm up tests before the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, Wilkinson had an impressive game, scoring 17 points (seven conversions and a penalty) in the 62–5 demolition of Wales.[33]

2007 World Cup[edit]

Due to a non-contact ankle injury sustained in training,[34] Wilkinson was not included in the teams for the opening games of the 2007 Rugby World Cup against the United States and then South Africa.[35] He returned to score 24 points in the 44–22 win over Samoa.[36] He helped England to victory against Tonga which put them through to the quarter-finals. During England's 12–10 quarter final win against Australia,[37] in which he scored all of England's points, Wilkinson became the Rugby World Cup's leading point scorer with 231 points, surpassing Gavin Hastings of Scotland. He continued to play a major role in England's defence of the World Cup by kicking 9 points, including a last gasp 40-metre drop goal, in their 14–9 semi-final victory over France.[38][39] In the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final, on 20 October at the Stade de France, South Africa won the Webb Ellis Cup in a game where Wilkinson slotted home 2 penalties, but missed 2 drop kick attempts. He was one of only four players to have started both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup Finals, the other three being Phil Vickery, Jason Robinson and Ben Kay.

2008–2009 International Season[edit]

Wilkinson passing to his backline in training

Going into the 2008 Six Nations Championship, Wilkinson was the obvious choice as England's number 10 and started the first four matches. Against Wales on 2 February 2008, Wilkinson scored 14 points, but England put in a poor display to fall 19–26 after squandering a 10-point lead at half-time. Wilkinson then amassed 27 points in England's next two wins against Italy and France. A disappointing loss against Scotland on 8 March, in which a number of the England squad put in poor performances, raised questions about Wilkinson's inclusion in the starting line-up given the emerging English talents at the number 10 position. 20-year-old Danny Cipriani was the main back up stand-off throughout the tournament (along with Charlie Hodgson), and replaced Wilkinson in the starting line-up for the last match of the tournament against Ireland. This was only the second time in his England career that Wilkinson was dropped to the bench (the first time being for the 1999 Rugby World Cup quarter final match with South Africa for which Paul Grayson was preferred). However, close to the start of the second half during the Ireland match on 15 March, Wilkinson was brought off the bench to replace Toby Flood, thus playing alongside Cipriani at inside centre.[40] This suggests a possible synthesis to the balance of nurturing up-and-coming fly-halves while incorporating the leading player in the position in recent years into the squad.

Following the Ireland match and speculation about Wilkinson’s future as the England number 10, Lawrence Dallaglio expressed his opinion that Wilkinson is unlikely to let the position be handed to Cipriani from now on: the element of competition which exists for the place is likely to inspire Wilkinson, rather than discourage him.[41] Despite competition over his position, Wilkinson ended the 2008 Six Nations as the tournament’s top points scorer, compiling 50 points.

Wilkinson was not considered for Martin Johnson's first England squad (the 2008 summer tour of New Zealand) due to a shoulder injury. He was joined by Danny Cipriani on the sidelines after the Wasps player also missed out due to injury. On 1 July 2008 Wilkinson was named in Martin Johnson's Elite Player Squad and was the only specialist Fly-half in the squad. .

2008/2009 Guinness Premiership season[edit]

Wilkinson made his recovery from shoulder surgery to score 22 points on his return game against Northampton on 14 September 2008, including a 45 metre last minute drop goal. Further sparkling performances and robust play indicated Wilkinson was playing injury free and back to his best. Unfortunately, the injury jinx struck again in the Guinness Premiership fixture against Gloucester on 30 September 2008. Wilkinson was forced off the field with a dislocated knee,[42] which left him unavailable for England's autumn internationals and for the rest of the 2008-09 Guinness Premiership season.[43] Wilkinson's injury facilitated a recall to the England squad for the Autumn Internationals for Danny Cipriani, who had returned from a serious ankle injury on 1 October 2008. In May 2009, it was confirmed that Wilkinson had ended his 12 years with the Falcons to join the French team Toulon for the 2009-10 Top 14 season.[44]

2009 Autumn Internationals[edit]

Wilkinson made a successful injury free comeback to international test rugby on 7 November against Australia after an 18 month absence. He then went on to play consecutive games against Argentina on 14 November and New Zealand on 21 November. Wilkinson along with Lewis Moody were England's most consistent performers as they lost to Australia and New Zealand and narrowly beat Argentina. During the first two games he was partnered with Shane Geraghty at inside centre for the third game he was partnered with Ayoola Erinle at inside centre.

Wilkinson playing for Toulon

2010–2014[edit]

Because of a succession of injuries — affecting his knee ligaments, arm, shoulder and kidney — Wilkinson's international career was severely disrupted. He did not appear again for England until 1,169 days after the 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph, for the opening game of the 2007 Six Nations Championship against Scotland on 3 February 2007.[45] In his comeback international match, Wilkinson scored 27 points (a record in the Calcutta Cup) in a full house (scoring points by all four possible methods), and was proclaimed Man of the Match.[46] The following week against Italy, he became the highest point-scorer in the history of the Five/Six Nations Championship (he has since been overtaken by Ronan O'Gara of Ireland).[47] On 6 October 2007, he also became the highest point-scorer in the history of the Rugby World Cup, kicking four penalties to overtake Scotland's Gavin Hastings in a quarter-final against Australia.

In a 2008 Six Nations Championship match against Italy, Wilkinson became the first English player (and second overall) to score 1000 Test points. He is also the world record drop goal scorer in international rugby with a total of 36.[48] In March 2008, he became the highest international point-scorer, overtaking Neil Jenkins of Wales.[49] In September 2008 he was injured again, ending his 2008-09 Guinness Premiership season.[42] In May 2009 he agreed to join French club Toulon on a two-year contract, leaving Newcastle after 12 years.[50] In July 2009 he was recalled into the England Elite Squad for the first time since the 2008 Six Nations Championship[51] and was confirmed in the squad for the 2009 Autumn internationals after a successful run of games with Toulon.[52] Wilkinson was then selected to tour Australia with the elite squad but was not selected as first choice fly half, nevertheless Wilkinson landed the winning points in the second test between England and Australia. Injury forced him to miss out on the 2010 autumn internationals, in the process losing his position as the all-time leading points scorer in test rugby to Dan Carter. However, Wilkinson reclaimed the record during the 2011 Six Nations Championship, a tournament during which he came off the bench in each of England's five games. He again lost the record to Carter in July 2011. On 12 December 2011, he announced his retirement from Test Rugby.[6]

In April 2013 he played the full 80 minutes in the Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, scoring all 21 points against Leicester Tigers. Wilkinson then landed 7 penalties and a drop goal to defeat Owen Farrell's Saracens. In May 2013 he scored 11 points as Toulon won the 2013 Heineken Cup Final by 16-15 against Clermont Auvergne.[53]

Wilkinson finished as the ERC European Player of the Year for the 2013 tournament, having not missed a single place kick in the knockouts with 17 from 17 attempts and finished with 56 points in the knockouts alone and 108 points in the entire tournament.

In May 2014, Wilkinson announced that he would retire from all rugby at the end of the season.[54] On 24 May 2014, he led Toulon to a decisive 23-6 win against Saracens in the 2014 Heineken Cup Final. He scored 13 points in the game.[55] One week later on 31 May 2014, he led Toulon once again to another win in a final, this time the Top 14 Final against Castres in which Toulon won 18-10. Wilkinson kicked 15 points. This was the last match of his career.[56]

International records[edit]

Wilkinson at Twickenham

England won 67 of the 91 games Wilkinson played in.[6] Wilkinson scored a record 29th Test drop goal against France in the 2008 Six Nations Championship. His first converted penalty against Scotland on 8 March 2008, took him 3 points past Wales's Neil Jenkins tally of 1090 Test rugby points. This achievement came due to the IRB retrospectively granting full Test status to the 2005 British and Irish Lions warm-up test against Argentina, in which he scored 20 points, without which he would have remained behind Jenkins on that day. Two more penalties in the second half took his tally to 1099 points. However, the IRB also awarded Jenkins his own retrospective tally of 41 points from Lions Tours, but Jenkins' combined total of 1090 is still behind that of Wilkinson. Even if Wilkinson's points from Lions Tours were excluded, he has still scored over 70 more Test points for England than Jenkins did for Wales.[6]

On 26 February 2011, Wilkinson regained the record for the highest tally of International points, overtaking Dan Carter of New Zealand by scoring a penalty against France in a Six Nations match at Twickenham. Carter then reclaimed the record on 30 July 2011[57] in the second 2011 Tri Nations Series match against South Africa. Wilkinson passed Ronan O'Gara (522) to regain the overall points record total of 526 in the 2010 Six Nations Championship, on 13 March 2010. Wilkinson holds the Rugby World Cup points record with 277 and is the only player to score points in two Rugby World Cup Finals.[6]

Honours[edit]

Newcastle Falcons[edit]

Toulon[edit]

International[edit]

Career highlights[edit]

Date Tournament Venue Opposition Scoring summary Total points Comments
4 April 1998 5 Nations Twickenham Ireland (won 35–17) 0 Wilkinson makes his debut as a replacement for Mike Catt, becoming England's youngest ever player.
6 June 1998 Cook Cup Brisbane Australia (lost 0–76) 0 Wilkinson's first start is in England's biggest ever defeat.
20 June 1998 Friendly Dunedin New Zealand (lost 22–64) 0
20 February 1999 5 Nations Twickenham Scotland (won 24–21) 3 c, 1 p 9 Wilkinson's defensive play is acclaimed in a match that would ultimately deny Scotland a Grand Slam
6 March 1999 5 Nations Dublin Ireland (won 27–15) 1 c, 4 p 14
20 March 1999 5 Nations Twickenham France (won 21–10) 7 p 21
11 April 1999 5 Nations Wembley Wales (lost 31–32) 2 c, 4 p 16 Wales deny England a Grand Slam at Wembley
26 June 1999 Cook Cup Sydney Australia (lost 15–22) 1 c, 1 p 5
21 August 1999 Friendly Twickenham United States (won 106–8) 13 c 26
28 August 1999 Friendly Twickenham Canada (won 36–11) 4 c, 1 p 11 Wilkinson passes 100 test points
2 October 1999 World Cup Twickenham Italy (won 67–7) 1 t, 6 c, 5 p 32
9 October 1999 World Cup Twickenham New Zealand (lost 16–30) 1 c, 3 p 11
9 November 2002 Friendly Twickenham New Zealand (won 31–28) 1 t, 2 c, 3 p, 1 d 21 A full house for Wilkinson as England win a classic
16 November 2002 Cook Cup Twickenham Australia (won 32–31) 2 c, 6 p 22
15 February 2003 6 Nations Twickenham France (won 25–17) 1 c, 5 p, 1 d 20
22 February 2003 6 Nations Cardiff Wales (won 26–9) 2 c, 2 p, 2 d 16
9 March 2003 6 Nations Twickenham Italy (won 40–5) 4 c 8
22 March 2003 6 Nations Twickenham Scotland (won 40–9) 3 c, 4 p 18
30 March 2003 6 Nations Dublin Ireland (won 42–6) 3 c, 1 p, 2 d 15 England win the 2003 Six Nations Grand Slam
14 June 2003 Friendly Wellington New Zealand (won 15–13) 4 p, 1 d 15 England record back-to-back wins against New Zealand for the first time
21 June 2003 Cook Cup Melbourne Australia (won 25–14) 2 c, 2 p 10 England's first-ever win on Australian soil
9 November 2003 World Cup Brisbane Wales (won 28–17) 1 c, 6 p, 1 d 23
16 November 2003 World Cup Sydney France (won 24–7) 5 p, 3 d 24 Wilkinson scores all of England's points, to gain a place in the final
22 November 2003 World Cup Sydney Australia (won 20–17) 4 p, 1 d 15 Wilkinson's drop goal wins the World Cup in the last minute of extra time
22 September 2007 World Cup Nantes Samoa (won 44–22) 3 c, 4 p, 2 d 24
6 October 2007 World Cup Saint-Denis Australia (won 12–10) 4 p 12
13 October 2007 World Cup Saint-Denis France (won 14–9) 2 p, 1 d 9 Wilkinson again kicks France out of the World Cup in the Semi-Final.
20 October 2007 World Cup Saint-Denis South Africa (lost 6–15) 2 p 6
2 February 2008 6 Nations Twickenham Wales (lost 19–26) 1 c, 3 p, 1 d 14
10 February 2008 6 Nations Rome Italy (won 23–19) 2 c, 3 p 13 Wilkinson goes past 1000 test points for England
24 February 2008 6 Nations Saint-Denis France (won 24–13) 1 c, 3 p, 1 d 14 Wilkinson scores a world record 29th international drop goal
8 March 2008 6 Nations Murrayfield Scotland (lost 9–15) 3 p 9 Wilkinson overtakes Neil Jenkins' world test record of 1090 points
14 February 2010 6 Nations Stadio Flaminio Italy (won 12–17) 3 p, 1 d 12 Wilkinson surpasses 500 points in the 6 Nations (506), second only to Ronan O'Gara (520)
13 March 2010 6 nations Murrayfield Scotland (drew 15-15) 3 p 9 Wilkinson overtakes Ronan O'Gara to become the overall top points scorer in the Six Nations (526)
26 February 2011 6 nations Twickenham France (won 17-9) 1 p 3 Wilkinson regains the world record for international points, overtaking Dan Carter

Statistics[edit]

International tries[edit]

Jonny Wilkinson's International Tries[58]
Try Opposing Team City/Country Venue Competition Year
[1]  Italy London, England Twickenham Rugby World Cup 1999
[2]  Italy London, England Twickenham Six Nations 2001
[3]  Australia Sydney, Australia Stadium Australia Test Match 2001
[4]  Ireland London, England Twickenham Six Nations 2002
[5]  Wales London, England Twickenham Six Nations 2002
[6]  New Zealand London, England Twickenham Test Match 2002
[7]  Scotland London, England Twickenham Six Nations 2007

International analysis by opposition[edit]

Against Played Won Lost Drawn Tries Points  % Won
 Argentina
4
3
0
1
0
53
75
 Australia
12
7
5
0
0
147
58.33
 Canada
1
1
0
0
0
11
100
 Fiji
1
1
0
0
0
23
100
 France
11
8
3
0
0
153
72.73
 Georgia
1
1
0
0
0
16
100
 Ireland
9
6
3
0
0
97
66.67
 Italy
8
8
0
0
1
142
100
 New Zealand
7
2
5
0
1
64
28.57
 Samoa
2
2
0
0
0
39
100
 Scotland
8
5
2
1
1
100
62.5
 South Africa
9
5
4
0
0
127
55.56
 Tonga
1
1
0
0
0
16
100
 United States
1
1
0
0
0
26
100
 Wales
9
7
2
0
1
166
77.78
Total 83 57 24 2 4 1172 69.84

Correct as of 14 March 2010[59]

Media[edit]

Wilkinson wrote a column for The Times occasionally until 2011, often during periods of high media focus on rugby, such as Six Nations tournaments and Rugby World Cups.[60] He has also written five books, which have been published by Headline. The first, "Lions and Falcons: My Diary of a Remarkable Year", written with ghostwriter Neil Squires who also helped Wilkinson in a few other books, was released in 2001, and followed a turbulent rugby year for him.[61] The diary documented the England rugby player's strike, the Newcastle Falcons winning the Powergen Cup, the 2001 Six Nations Championship and the British and Irish Lions tour at the end of the year. After helping England win the Rugby World Cup with his last-ditch effort in 2003, he released his second book in 2004. The book, "My World", was largely picture-based, with less writing than in his previous publication.[62] The writing that it did contain was focused on his experience of the 2003 World Cup, and how his life had altered following the winning drop goal. In 2005 "How To Play Rugby My Way", which accompanied the BBC series "Jonny's Hotshots", was released. It was largely a coaching/instruction manual, with tips and techniques for rugby playing. It also included small insights to Wilkinson's family life and the relationships which have allowed his rugby playing to flourish.[63] Wilkinson's book 'Tackling Life', was released in 2008.[64] This book focuses on how his aspect on life changed after his injury woes, and how he overcame them. His fifth book, "Jonny: My Autobiography" was released in 2011.[65][66]

Personal life[edit]

Jonny's brother, Mark, was also a Newcastle player, and made sixteen appearances in the Premiership for the side between 2002 and 2005, predominantly as a centre.[67] His father, Phil, was also a rugby player and cricketer, and his mother, Philipa, played squash at county level.[68]

The Newcastle Falcons' fitness trainer Steve Black has become particularly influential on Wilkinson's rugby career. Wilkinson has previously stated that he respects Black a great deal, and that Black taught him a lot about "values and ethics".[69]

Wilkinson says Richard Hill and Mike Catt are his closest friends in the England rugby set-up. In 2001, he also acknowledged his friendships with former hooker Phil Greening and winger Dan Luger to be similarly strong. In his life after rugby, Wilkinson has stated that he wishes to get more involved in coaching, especially children and at "an elite level".[70]

Wilkinson is widely known as a teetotaler, but broke that habit after England lost to South Africa in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final.[71]

Wilkinson has been following Buddhist principles and teachings to help control his perfectionist tendencies according to an interview he gave with The Times newspaper.[72]

In September 2011, Wilkinson launched Fineside, an on-line men's fashion label.[73]

On 28 October 2013, Wilkinson married his girlfriend of eight years, scaffolding company heiress Shelley Jenkins, in a private ceremony at the town hall of the French resort of Bandol. Only two guests, one of them Wilkinson's mother, were present at the ceremony officiated by Bandol mayor Christian Palix, who said that "both [are] viewed with great respect" in the community.[74]

Awards[edit]

  • In December 2005, Wilkinson was awarded an honorary doctorate in Civil Law by Northumbria University.
  • He was the 2003 BBC Sports Personality of the Year
  • He was the 2003 International Rugby Board (IRB) International Player of the Year.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "RFU England Player Profile, Jonny Wilkinson". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson | Rugby Union | Players and Officials | ESPN Scrum". Scrum.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson OBE". www.england-rugby.com. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  4. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson MBE". BBC News (London). 31 December 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "University of Surrey awards honorary doctorate to Jonny Wilkinson". surrey.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Jonny Wilkinson retires from England duty". BBC News (BBC). 12 December 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson was an obsessive who had to be the best throughout his glorious career". Daily Mail. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "England World Cup winner to retire". BBC Sport. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  9. ^ [1] Retrieved 7 November 2014
  10. ^ Jonny's gift for kicking at thesun.co.uk. Retrieved 5 July 2011
  11. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson". adidas.com. Retrieved 17 May 2006. 
  12. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson". newcastle-falcons.co.uk. Archived from the original on 28 September 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2006. 
  13. ^ Kitson, Robert (23 October 1999). "Grayson thrust into crunch position". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 20 May 2007. 
  14. ^ Kitson, Robert (25 October 1999). "Damning evidence may spell the end of England coach's reign". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 20 May 2007. 
  15. ^ "Wilkinson revels in good fortune". BBC News (London). 12 November 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2007. 
  16. ^ "Jannes Labuschagne breaks Wilkinson". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  17. ^ "Woodward irate about 'brutal' Boks". BBC News (London). 23 November 2002. Retrieved 5 September 2006. 
  18. ^ Dawson, Matt. Nine Lives: The Autobiography, CollinsWillow (2004). Page 214
  19. ^ "England RWC team guide". BBC. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  20. ^ "A new day dawns for Wilkinson". planet-rugby.com. Archived from the original on 7 July 2006. Retrieved 5 July 2006. 
  21. ^ "Wilko and Farrell back in the mix". planet-rugby.com. Retrieved 1 August 2006. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Wilko takes stock of 'lacerated' kidney". planet-rugby.com. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 10 November 2006. [dead link]
  23. ^ Evans, Ieuan (3 February 2007). "Perfect script unfolds for comeback king". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 3 February 2007. 
  24. ^ Hart, Simon (4 February 2007). "Wilkinson makes dream return". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 February 2007. 
  25. ^ "Hadden fumes over 'farcical' try". BBC News (London). 3 February 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007. 
  26. ^ Johnson, Ryan (10 February 2007). "Record-breaking Jonny kicks in for England". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 10 February 2007. 
  27. ^ Hodges, Vicki (3 March 2007). "Catt to captain England as trio are ruled out". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 6 March 2007. 
  28. ^ "London Irish 38–12 Newcastle". BBC News (London). 3 March 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2007. 
  29. ^ "Tindall ruled out with broken leg". BBC News (London). 14 April 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2007. 
  30. ^ "Robinson to captain England squad". BBC News (London). 1 May 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  31. ^ "South Africa 58–10 England". BBC News (London). 26 May 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2007. 
  32. ^ Cleary, Mick (4 June 2007). "Plucky England cling to positives amid debris". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 June 2007. 
  33. ^ "England 62–5 Wales". BBC News (London). 4 August 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007. 
  34. ^ "Wilkinson hopeful of quick return". BBC News (London). 6 September 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007. 
  35. ^ "England face crisis at fly-half". BBC News (London). 11 September 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  36. ^ Hodgetts, Rob (22 September 2007). "Rugby World Cup". BBC News (London). Retrieved 22 September 2007. 
  37. ^ Harlow, Phil (15 October 2007). "England v Australia as it happened". BBC News (London). Retrieved 6 October 2007. 
  38. ^ Standley, James (13 October 2007). "England defy odds for World Cup final fling". BBC News (London). Retrieved 13 October 2007. 
  39. ^ Cleary, Mick (15 October 2007). "England v France". www.telegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  40. ^ Caroe, Charlie (17 March 2008). "Jonny Wilkinson: Danny Cipriani a joy to watch". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 17 March 2008. 
  41. ^ "Cipriani 'can improve Wilkinson'". BBC News (London). 16 March 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2008. 
  42. ^ a b Cleary, Mick (2 October 2008). "Jonny Wilkinson faces another lay-of". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  43. ^ "Wilkinson set to the miss Six Nations". BBC News (London). 10 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  44. ^ "Falcons boss backs Wilkinson move". BBC News (London). 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  45. ^ "Wilkinson: The Comeback Kid". BBC News (London). 4 February 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2007. 
  46. ^ "Wilkinson relief after comeback". BBC News (London). 3 February 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007. 
  47. ^ Hodgetts, Rob (14 March 2009). "O'Gara claims record". BBC News (London). Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  48. ^ "Jonny Drops His Way to World Record". www.england-rugby.com. Retrieved 25 February 2008. 
  49. ^ Caroe, Charlie (8 March 2008). "Jonny Wilkinson claims Test points record". www.telegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  50. ^ "Wilkinson agrees to join RC Toulonnais". BBC Sport (London). 18 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  51. ^ "Cipriani demoted from elite squad". Scrum.com. 7 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  52. ^ Cleary, Mick (30 September 2009). "Jonny Wilkinson back in a good place with England". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  53. ^ "Toulon claim Heineken Cup glory". ESPN. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  54. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson announces retirement from all forms of rugby at the end of season". Daily Telegraph. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  55. ^ Paul Rees (24 May 2014). "Jonny Wilkinson: ‘I cannot say how proud I am to be a part of this’". The Observer. 
  56. ^ Jim White (31 May 2014). "Jonny Wilkinson bows out in style as Toulon beat Castres to claim Top 14 play-off final – a winner to the end ...". The Telegraph. 
  57. ^ "New Zealand humble South Africa". BBC News. 30 July 2011. 
  58. ^ Player Analysis: Jonny Wilkinson, Scrum, 14 March 2010.
  59. ^ Player Analysis: Jonny Wilkinson, Scrum, 14 March 2010.
  60. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson". The Times. 
  61. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson: Lions & Falcons". Unofficial Falcon Rugby. 29 March 2003. 
  62. ^ Simon Hattenstone (23 October 2004). "'It's a kind of religion'". The Guardian. 
  63. ^ "How to Play Rugby My Way: by Jonny Wilkinson". Headline. 
  64. ^ Andy Bull (2 October 2008). "Don't write Jonny Wilkinson off just yet". The Guardian. 
  65. ^ Paul Rees (10 November 2011). "Jonny Wilkinson's autobiography reveals him to be a tortured soul". The Guardian. 
  66. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson invites his fans on a fresh tour of his tortured soul". The Sports Bookshelf. 8 November 2011. 
  67. ^ "England/ Players & Officials/ Mark Wilkinson". ESPN. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  68. ^ Wilkinson, Phil (14 July 2003). "SPORT ACADEMY PARENT: The Wilkinsons". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  69. ^ Wilkinson, Jonny. How to Play Rugby My Way, Headline Publishing (2005), p.215.
  70. ^ Wilkinson, Jonny. How to Play Rugby My Way, Headline Publishing (2005), p.214.
  71. ^ "Teetotal Wilkinson nursed Cup hangover". uk.reuters.com. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2007. 
  72. ^ Syed, Matthew (19 September 2008). "Jonny Wilkinson: The quantum leap that saved me from despair". The Times (London). Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  73. ^ Tyler, Richard (29 August 2011). "Jonny Wilkinson to launch clothes range Fineside". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  74. ^ Allen, Peter (29 October 2013). "Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson marries long-term girlfriend Shelley Jenkins". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilkinson, Jonny, (2001, 2002). Lions and Falcons: My Diary of a Remarkable Year, Headline Book Publishing, (ISBN 0-7472-4243-7)
  • Wilkinson, Jonny, (2004). My World, Headline Book Publishing, (ISBN 0-7472-4276-3)
  • Wilkinson, Jonny, (2005). How to Play Rugby My Way, Headline Book Publishing, (ISBN 0-7553-1337-2) h

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
France Fabien Galthié
IRB International Player of the Year
2003
Succeeded by
South Africa Schalk Burger
Preceded by
Paula Radcliffe
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
2003
Succeeded by
Kelly Holmes
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Martin Johnson
English National Rugby Union Captain
Mar 2003
Succeeded by
Martin Johnson
Preceded by
Jason Robinson
English National Rugby Union Captain
Jun 2007
Succeeded by
Phil Vickery