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