Jonny Wilkinson is a former English rugby union player who is widely considered one of the greatest fly-halves in the history of the sport. He is best known for his drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, which secured England’s first and only World Cup victory. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the life and career of this rugby legend.
Jonny Wilkinson Early Life
Jonny Wilkinson was born on May 25, 1979, in Frimley, England. His father, Phil Wilkinson, was a rugby player and coach, and he introduced his son to the sport at an early age. Wilkinson showed a natural talent for rugby, and he began playing competitively for his school and local clubs.
Jonny Wilkinson Career Beginnings
Wilkinson’s professional rugby career began in 1997 when he joined the Newcastle Falcons, a team in the English Premiership. He quickly established himself as one of the best fly-halves in the league, and he helped the Falcons win the Premiership title in 1998.
Jonny Wilkinson International Career
Wilkinson made his international debut for England in 1998, at the age of 18. He quickly became a key player for the national team, and he helped England win the Six Nations Championship in 2000.
The 2003 Rugby World Cup
Wilkinson’s defining moment came in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, which was held in Australia. England had never won a World Cup before, and they faced a tough challenge in the final against Australia. In the dying moments of the match, with the score tied at 17-17, Wilkinson kicked a drop goal that sailed between the posts, giving England a 20-17 victory and their first World Cup title.
The drop goal was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication for Wilkinson, and it cemented his status as a rugby legend. He was named the man of the match, and his image celebrating the drop goal has become an iconic moment in rugby history.
Jonny Wilkinson’s Later Career and Retirement
Wilkinson continued to play for the Newcastle Falcons and the England national team for several years after the 2003 World Cup. He was plagued by injuries, however, and he missed several key matches, including the 2007 World Cup final, which England lost to South Africa.
In 2009, Wilkinson joined the French club Toulon, where he enjoyed a successful period of his career. He helped Toulon win several titles, including the Heineken Cup and the Top 14 championship.
Wilkinson retired from professional rugby in 2014, at the age of 35. He left behind a legacy as one of the greatest fly-halves in history, and his drop goal in the 2003 World Cup final will always be remembered as one of the most iconic moments in rugby history.
Jonny Wilkinson Career Statistics
Jonny Wilkinson is widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby players of all time, particularly in the fly-half position. He has achieved a great deal throughout his illustrious career, and his statistics reflect his immense talent and impact on the game. Here are some of his notable career statistics:
- Total matches played: 481
- Total points scored: 1,246
- Total drop goals scored: 36
- Total penalties scored: 261
- Total conversions scored: 196
- Total tries scored: 33
- England debut: 1998
- Last England appearance: 2011
- Total England caps: 91
Some of Wilkinson’s notable achievements include his role in England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup victory, where he scored the famous drop goal in the final against Australia. He was also a key part of the England team that won the Six Nations Championship in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2011, and the Grand Slam in 2003.
Wilkinson’s impact on rugby extended beyond his impressive statistics, as he was widely regarded as a fierce competitor with an unwavering work ethic and a relentless pursuit of perfection. Even after his retirement, he remains one of the most beloved and iconic rugby players in history, and his legacy continues to inspire players around the world.
Is Jonny Wilkinson a Sir?
No, Jonny Wilkinson has not been knighted. However, he was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2003 for his services to rugby.
Why Did Jonny Wilkinson Retire?
Jonny Wilkinson retired from professional rugby in 2014 due to a number of injuries he had sustained throughout his career. He had struggled with a variety of injuries, including a knee injury that he sustained in the 2011 World Cup, and a dislocated shoulder. Despite his injuries, he continued to play at the highest level for many years, but ultimately decided to retire at the age of 35.
Does Jonny Wilkinson Have Children?
Yes, Jonny Wilkinson has two children. He has a daughter named Chloe and a son named Freddie, both of whom were born in 2019.
What is Jonny Wilkinson Doing Now?
Since retiring from professional rugby, Jonny Wilkinson has remained involved in the sport in various capacities. He has worked as a coach and consultant for several teams, including the England national team, Toulon, and the Newcastle Falcons. He has also worked as a television analyst and commentator for various broadcasters, including Sky Sports and ITV. Outside of rugby, he is involved in a number of charitable initiatives, including the Jonny Wilkinson Foundation, which supports a variety of causes including mental health and education.
Jonny Wilkinson is a rugby legend whose talent, dedication, and hard work have made him one of the most beloved and respected figures in the sport. His drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final will always be remembered as a moment of pure genius, and his career serves as an inspiration to aspiring rugby players around the world.