Rugby

Woodward salutes Wilkinson

2011-12-13 08:59
Jonny Wilkinson (File)

London - Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward praised Jonny Wilkinson as a "marvellous team man" after the fly-half announced his retirement from international rugby union on Monday.

It was Woodward who gave Wilkinson the first of his 91 England caps in 1998 and he was still in charge when the No 10 landed the extra-time drop-goal that won the 2003 World Cup final against Australia in Sydney.

"He was a marvellous team man," Woodward told Sky News of the now 32-year-old Wilkinson, who plans to continue playing for French side Toulon.

"He set out to be the number one player in the world in his position but behind that his team ethic was fantastic and he was a real role model for that.

"He just put everything into his game in terms of off the field - he left nothing to chance," former England centre Woodward added.

"I admired how he went about his business and how much work he did when no-one was around. He did a lot on his own, studied and learned the game.

"It's a lesson to any young person about what has to happen. He took his game to a whole new level."

Wilkinson is England's record points scorer and second in the all-time list behind New Zealand's Dan Carter, with a tally, including British and Irish Lions points, of 1,246.

Following the 2003 World Cup final, injuries meant it was nearly four years before Wilkinson, renowned for his dedicated approach to training, returned to Test duty.

"Jonny redefined the standards for rugby players in his extraordinary international playing career," said Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley.

"His capacity for hard work, continual improvement and dedication has left a lasting legacy by which future players will be judged."

England wing Ugo Monye explained Wilkinson's training regime had been established early in his career.

"I went to school with Johnny. The way he trained then as a 16-year-old is just how he trains now," Monye said.

Wilkinson called time on Test rugby after a mediocre World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.

His famed goalkicking accuracy deserted him as an England team managed by 2003 captain Martin Johnson, who has since resigned, struggled through to the quarter-finals where they lost to France.

And Wilkinson's final tournament for England was also marred by a series of alcohol-fuelled off-field incidents involving other members of the squad, including fellow 2003 World Cup winner Mike Tindall.

Someone glad Wilkinson was retiring from Test duty was Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal who two years ago brought him across from Newcastle to the south of France and has since made him club captain.

"It was a topic of discussion with him because by taking part in the World Cup and the 2012 Six Nations, he would only have played half a season for Toulon," Boudjellal said.

"So, it's good news for Toulon in as much as he wears the captain's armband."

Read more on:    jonny wilkinson
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

The five candidates for SA Player of the Year have been revealed. Who gets your vote?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.