Jonny Wilkinson has retired from international rugby at the age of 32. Best known for kicking the winning drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, Wilkinson will be remembered as one of the highest point scorers in the game. He finishes his international career with 1246 points, including 67 for the British & Irish Lions, scoring 255 penalties, 169 conversion, 7 tries and 36 drop goals, the last of which is a world record.
“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 that I have been blessed in so many ways to have experienced what I have with the England rugby team. I never ever believed that I would be able to give up on this dream which has driven me to live, breathe, love and embrace the game of rugby from the earliest days that I can remember.
“I certainly have no intention of letting this decision change the way that I approach my training and preparation for games. In fact early indication shows me that I’m actually getting more intense about it. Playing the game, representing the team, giving my all and never letting go has meant everything to me. The time has come, however, for me to realise that I have gone as far as I can go with this England team and that the time is right for others to enjoy the same honour and pride that I have felt over the past 15 seasons and beyond.
“To say I have played through four World Cups, two Lions tours, 91 international games and a ridiculous number of injuries and other setbacks 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.”