Jonny calls it a day

Jonny Wilkinson has announced his retirement from international rugby at the age of 32. [more]

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson has announced his retirement from international rugby at the age of 32.

After winning 91 caps for England and playing in six Tests with the British & Irish Lions the former world points record holder has called time on one of the great international careers.

The Toulon outside half scored 1,246 points in Test match rugby, but the three he picked up with the extra-time drop goal in 2003 World Cup final against Australia in Sydney earned him cult status in English rugby.

Now in his third season in French club rugby, the former Newcastle Falcons star was the Lions’ first-choice No 10 on the 2001 tour to Australia and the 2005 trip to New Zealand. His decision to quit the Test arena comes five days after England announced an interim coaching team under the leadership of Stuart Lancaster to take charge of England for the RBS 6 Nations.

He first appeared in England colours as an unused replacement against Scotland before coming off the bench to replace Mike Catt against Ireland at Twickenham on 4 April 1998 when he was still only 18. His final appearance for England was against France in the World Cup quarter-final at Eden Park last October.

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Jonny Wilkinson Retrement Statement

"I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from international rugby. To do so fills me with great sadness, but I know I have been blessed in so many ways to have experienced what I have with the England rugby team.

"To say I have played through four World Cups, two Lions tours, 91 international games and a ridiculous number of injuries and other set backs gives me an incredibly special feeling of fulfilment. But by now I know myself well enough to know that I will never truly be satisfied!

"It goes without saying that I would like to wish Stuart Lancaster, his coaches and the England Squad every bit of success available to them. I would also very much like to extend those wishes to Martin Johnson, Brian Smith, Mike Ford, John Wells, Graham Rowntree and the rest of the England 2011 World cup management team who have been fantastic and deserve people to know that.

"For me now, I will continue to focus ever harder on my goal of being the very best I can be with Toulon Rugby Club and continue to embrace and enjoy wherever that path takes me."

England’s Interim Coach Stuart Lancaster said:

“Jonny has had a fantastic international career which has spanned four World Cups and 91 caps and ranks as one of England’s greatest ever players. He will of course be remembered for that drop goal but he is more than that, a model sportsman – down to earth and hard working, who has never stopped trying to be the best that he can.

“Everyone who has played with, coached and watched Jonny play should feel privileged to have had an involvement with him. Not only has he been a world class player but he has inspired thousands to play and watch the game of rugby.

“He will continue to do great things with Toulon and I would like to go and see him in France to learn from his vast knowledge and experience of 13 years at the very top of the international game.”

Jonny Wilkinson’s British & Irish Lions Record
Overall: P 9 W 4 D 1 L 4 Pts 116 (2T, 17C, P24)
Tests: P 6 W 1 D 1 L 4 Pts 67 (1T, 7C, 16P)

16/06/2001 Queensland Reds 8 – 42 British Lions C: 4, P: 3
23/06/2001 Waratahs 24 – 41 British Lions T: 1, C: 4, P: 2
30/06/2001 Australia 13 – 29 British Lions C: 3, P: 1
07/07/2001 Australia 35 – 14 British Lions P: 3
14/07/2001 Australia 29 – 23 British Lions T: 1, C: 2, P: 3
23/05/2005 British Lions 25 – 25 Argentina C: 1, P: 6
15/06/2005 Wellington 6 – 23 British Lions C: 2, P: 3
25/06/2005 New Zealand 21 – 3 British Lions P: 1
02/07/2005 New Zealand 48 – 18 British Lions C: 1, P: 2

 

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