Wilkinson announces retirement from rugby

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Jonny Wilkinson has confirmed that he will retire from rugby at the end of the season, calling time on a trophy-laden career spanning 17 years.

The fly-half has two games left this season and could still feasibly finish his career with two further winners medals – Toulon will contest the Heineken Cup and Top 14 finals over the next two weekends.

A statement on Toulon’s website read: “I want to officially announce my retirement from rugby today. Needless to say I have a lot of people to thank for their support throughout the world but especially here in France and England.

“But this is not the time to focus on my retirement because I want to focus all my attention and energy on the team and the last two games of the season. I sincerely want to thank you all for everything you have given me and for making these last 17 years something I will never forget.”

Wilkinson will be best remembered for the above drop-goal he kicked deep into extra time in the 2003 World Cup final to deliver England their first and only World Cup trophy. He won 91 caps in total, scoring 1,938 points in the process. He played in four World Cups and went on two British and Irish Lions tours, winning six test caps.

He began his career at Newcastle Falcons, where he won the Allied Dunbar Premiership in 1997-1998, but injuries plagued his time in the North East. He gained a new lease of life after moving to Toulon in 2009. Since then he has managed to remain relatively injury free and has scored an impressive 1,243 points in his 88 games for the club.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

8 thoughts on “Wilkinson announces retirement from rugby

  1. Hold on a minute look what has been left out ……that he personally carried 300,000 troops from the beaches of Dunkirk on his back as he swam the Channel 300 times in late May/ early June 1940.

    Was responsible for personally shooting down over 200 Luftwaffe planes in the late Summer/Autumn 1940.

    Breached three German dams during the Dambuster raid……found the cure for HIV…landed on the Moon……fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes….crucified by the Romans….raised from the dead of the third day…..blew a GS against Wales 1999, then blew a GS v Scotland 2000 then blew a GS against Ireland 2001

    Oh yeah won nothing with England apart from in 2003 which as rapidly become England’s only year anything of note.

    Even Goebbels could not cover this decade of non-achievement for the England!!

    1. Crazy that we are even honouring the guy really. I mean, winning a world cup, two six nations, another WC final, European cup winner, and only the second highest number of test points ever.

      Seriously though, pull your head out your arse.

    2. “Oh yeah won nothing with England apart from in 2003 which as rapidly become England’s only year anything of note.”

      As a Welshman I have to say that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. “only” won the World Cup “one”? The top sporting championship in his sport? Blimey, what an underachiever…

      If a Welshman played one tournament in his entire career and managed to bring the WC home at the end of it he’d never, ever need to lift a finger to look after himself again.

  2. Hold on a minute look what has been left out ……that he personally carried 300,000 troops from the beaches of Dunkirk on his back as he swam the Channel 300 times in late May/ early June 1940.

    Was responsible for personally shooting down over 200 Luftwaffe planes in the late Summer/Autumn 1940.

    Breached three German dams during the Dambuster raid……found the cure for HIV…landed on the Moon……fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes….crucified by the Romans….raised from the dead of the third day…..blew a GS against Wales 1999, then blew a GS v Scotland 2000 then blew a GS against Ireland 2001

    Oh yeah and he never won a Lions series and won nothing with England apart from in 2003 which has rapidly become English rugby’s 1966.

    Even Goebbels could not cover this decade of non-achievement for the England!!

  3. QW – it’s a shame that this thread now seems to be bombed with your bitter dribblings. I’ve cursed Jonny many, many times as he’s stroked over kicks to beat my teams. I’ve laughed at the English obsession with him, the constant reference to his Geoff Hurst moment – but laughed with a secret envy. Yes, the English go on about 03 a lot, but so would anyone who’d won it, especially overseas and with a schoolboy dream ending like that.

    Good luck to you in retirement Jonny. You were a formidable opponent. I hope you find some peace away from the game.

    1. Nice tribute from across the Severn! Also think the last point is worth more attention than a lot of people realise.
      Jonny was catapulted to International stardom at a very young age – I think it’s fair to say he was the focus of the media spotlight following RWC 2003 in a way that was unprecedented in the game, before or since (certainly in the NH anyway).
      However he didn’t go looking for any of this; far from it in fact, and the effect of it on his future career (particularly at international level) may never really be known.

      What Jonny Wilkinson DIDN’T do is allow the publicity to go to his head, and start prancing around with a pop star on one arm and too many beers in the other. He has always conducted himself with the utmost humility, patience, and respect.
      A true hero for our youngsters to look up to. All the best Jonny.

  4. You are and have been one of the greats Jonny! As a role model, competitor, player, captain, flyhalf and idol for many, you will be remembered along with all the other greats, far longer than you will live. You have entertained us all, tormented opponents and their fan’s, with all your skills and dedication to the teams you’ve played for. It was a privilege to watch you playing the 2007 final, after England’s performance in the pool game against the Springboks, in which you tormented many a fan, but EARNED RESPECT from all! The speed and accuracy of your executions in play and defence have left a lasting and endearing memory. Thank you Jonny!

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