Jonny Wilkinson faces up to life after rugby

Jonny Wilkinson celebrates with the Top 14 trophy

Jonny Wilkinson celebrates with the Top 14 trophy

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

AFTER helping Toulon to Top 14 final glory in Paris, Jonny Wilkinson admitted that it will take him time to come to terms with his impending retirement from rugby.

The former Lord Wandsworth College pupil kicked all but three of his side’s points in their 18-10 victory over Castres in the Stade de France on Saturday night.

The game was Wilkinson’s last before retirement, and emotion got the better of him after the final whistle. Having been mobbed by his team-mates as the stadium speakers blasted out God Save the Queen, the 35-year-old was left walking around the stadium with his head in his hands.

“It is impossible to put this feeling into words,” Wilkinson said. “I’ve spent half of my life with a ball. It’s going to be a huge shock after rugby but I’ll have a lot of good memories.

“Part of me wants to jump up and down and run around because it is such a great day, but something is holding me back.

“It is wondering what the hell I am going to do now. It’s a scary time, but it happens to everyone and you need to understand that your time runs out.”

Winning the Top 14 final meant that Wilkinson was able to go out on a real high, having helped Toulon to the Heineken Cup with a 23-6 victory over Saracens in Cardiff a week earlier.

In Paris, Wilkinson opened the scoring with an eighth-minute penalty and while Max Evans’ try put Castres ahead, two further Wilkinson penalties and a trademark drop-goal had Toulon 12-10 ahead at the break.

Wilkinson and former London Irish star Delon Armitage kicked further penalties in the second half to confirm victory for Toulon.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree