Jonny Wilkinson – Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by Sonja in Aug 22,2014 with No Comments

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Jonny Wilkinson regrets rushing back from injuries earlier in career

Posted by Sonja in Aug 13,2014 with No Comments

The legendary England fly-half retired from the game in May, having captained Toulon to Heineken Cup and Top 14 glory in his final season.
Those wins capped a glittering career for Wilkinson, who shot to fame in inspiring England to their World Cup triumph in Australia in 2003, landing the winning drop goal in extra-time of the final against the hosts.

After that high, however, Wilkinson suffered numerous lows as he constantly battled with injuries before his move to Toulon in 2009 rejuvenated his career.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Wilkinson explained how he struggled to deal with the fame that came with World Cup success and the chronic fitness problems he suffered in the aftermath of that tournament.

“My biggest regret was I wasn’t calm and composed enough to deal with the combination of the World Cup victory in 2003 followed by three years solid of injury followed by the World Cup in 2007 followed by one whole year of injury,” the 35-year-old said.

“[There was] that period where I wasn’t composed enough to understand how to come back from it properly because the whole thing turned my head a little upside down.

“I didn’t know how to attack the rest of my career. I was 24 years old at the peak of where I wanted to be and then suddenly I was no longer playing the game because I couldn’t stay fit.

“I gave myself no time to come back. I put too much pressure on myself which is probably what caused the extra injuries anyway.

“Suddenly I threw into the mix media, politics, profile, celebrity, injuries, frustration, fear, failure, expectation, everything in there and I was asked to deal with it.

“But instead of dealing with it on the field I had to deal with it at home with my leg in the air. It was just too much.”


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England World Cup winner Wilkinson has no regrets about retiring

Posted by Sonja in Aug 12,2014 with No Comments

Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has insisted that he does not regret his decision to retire from rugby – although he still sometimes dreams about playing.

Wilkinson – a World Cup winner in 2003 – ended a glittering playing career with a Heineken Cup final win with Toulon in May but he told Sky Sports News HQ that his “time has gone” in the game.

“It’s a funny feeling – and not one I’m used to,” he said. “As long as I can remember I’ve woken up thinking about rugby. I still have the odd dream where I’m running round the changing room and can’t find my boots or I’m not prepared and I wake up in a mild panic.

“Rugby has added a huge purpose and motivation to what I’ve done – it’s fuelled the rest of my life around it for a long, long time – but to be honest I’m enjoying the flip side of that coin at the moment and the opportunity to look at things from a slightly different perspective.


“When I first came back to training with Toulon I wondered if I would look at the guys and feel that I’ve still got that edge – but I don’t. My time has gone and what has made that easy has been that I probably played a year-and-a-half longer than I would have done had I gone purely on a heart perspective.

“But I added my mind into that and I made what I like to think was a very good decision – using my head and choosing to override the heart. But because of that I’ve drained every bit of whatever I had left playing rugby.

“There were times during that last year that I was there, days after games, thinking to myself ‘I’m not sure I want to do this anymore’ and I was able to push through that – but now it’s over, I’ve milked everything from that experience and I know it’s done for me.”

You can hear more from Jonny Wilkinson throughout the day on Sky Sports News HQ – now in its new home of Sky channel 401

Source: Sky Sports

Click on the link above to hear Jonny’s interview with Sky

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A thank you from Jonny

Posted by admin in Aug 08,2014 with No Comments

Hi guys I’ve just received this in the post from Jonny saying thanks for the book.

A lovely message thanks for sending it Jonny

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2015 Rugby World Cup – Jonny tips England for World Cup glory

Posted by Sonja in Aug 01,2014 with No Comments


Jonny Wilkinson has backed England to go all the way when they host the World Cup next year.

Wilkinson, who kicked the winning drop goal in the 2003 final, praised the way England have gone back to basics under head coach Stuart Lancaster. He said the team’s work in both defence and attack gives them a great chance of lifting the trophy on home turf.

“The England team have done a great thing in going back to the foundation of the game,” Wilkinson told South Africa’s SuperSport. “They’ve looked at the values; they looked at the core principles of what makes a good team. They’ve solidified it at the base and now they’re building on it. They’re adding detail on top of detail on top of detail and the players are ready to accept it.

“The players are really understanding the structure of what they’re trying to do. It looks like they’re very professional. The defence is solid and they never looked stressed and when they are they come straight back. In attack they’ve got great shape and great options every time they have the ball.”

“I’d really like to think they will be in a semi-final, with every chance of going all the way,”

Wilkinson also tipped South Africa for at least a semi-final spot and said the physicality of the Springboks’ game strikes fear into opponents.

“South Africa have a great foundation for what they are trying to do,” Wilkinson said. “They also have a great identity of who they are. That identity precedes them wherever they go. Their physicality, their desire, their pride and integrity puts teams on the back-foot before the whistle even goes.

“They pace at which they are now playing too is starting to drive opposition out of their comfort zones, forcing them to make mistakes under pressure. It allows them to get ahead in games and allows them to push forward and win comfortably.

“When they do find themselves in difficulty, which they did against Wales recently, they then find a way of coming back. It’s ultimately the sign of a great team.
“I’d like to think again that South Africa will be one of those teams in the semi-finals.”


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Former New Zealand prop Carl Hayman replaces Jonny Wilkinson as Toulon captain

Posted by Sonja in Jul 28,2014 with No Comments

Former New Zealand prop Carl Hayman will take over the captaincy at French side Toulon following Jonny Wilkinson’s retirement from rugby.

Wilkinson ended a glittering 17-year career in rugby at the end of last season, bowing out in style as he helped Toulon to an 18-10 win over Castres in the Top 14 final.

The 36-year-old began his career at Newcastle Falcons, the club which Hayman left to join Newcastle in 2010.

Hayman won 45 caps for the All Blacks between 2001-2007 and spent eight years with the Highlanders before making the move to England.

Widely regarded as one of the best props in world rugby, Hayman has been given the nod to captain Toulon by head coach Bernard Laporte and will be supported by fellow forwards Chris Masoe and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe.

Source: Sky Sports

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Jonny Wilkinson’s clothing brand supports emerging North East racing talent

Posted by Sonja in Jul 27,2014 with No Comments

Clothing brand Fineside will be joining the fast lane this weekend, as it launches a new partnership with emerging North East racing driver Matthew Graham.

The brand, which was established in 2010 by rugby playing brothers Jonny & Mark Wilkinson, produces movement inspired clothing, combining elements of outdoor wear, street wear and technical sportswear.

Tapping into the fast paced world of motorsport, Fineside’s plan is to use the partnership with Graham to promote the brand and clothing to race fans across Europe, during the remainder of the 2014 Formula Renault Northern European Cup season.

As part of the agreement, Fineside will take up prominent branding positions on Graham’s Formula Renault race car while out of the car, the driver will act as a brand ambassador for the label, wearing their garments at race meetings in and around the paddocks and at PR commitments away from events.

In return Fineside will support Matthew through the remainder of the 2014 season and assist Matthew to grow his fan and supporter networks.

It is hoped to be the beginning of a long and successful partnership that will grow alongside Matthew’s burgeoning career, as he looks to progress towards his goal of becoming the first driver from the North East to contest the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Fineside’s Mark Wilkinson said: “Matthew is a great talent and to be able to support him and hopefully watch him progress from this relatively early stage in his career, is an opportunity that we are very excited about.”

Speaking at the partnership launch, Matthew Graham said: “It’s great to have Fineside become a partner and supporter of my racing and I am looking forward to helping to promote the brand for this and hopefully future season.”

“The team at Fineside have made some really nice clothes that look great and really are designed with movement in mind which is going to make the time spent in the garages a bit more comfortable than if I stay in my race suit!”

Source: Bdaily

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No regrets for Wilkinson, the coach

Posted by Sonja in Jul 22,2014 with No Comments

Looking back on his final match as a player, Toulon coach Jonny Wilkinson admits that the end of his career ‘went perfectly’.

Settling into retirement as part of Toulon’s coaching staff, Wilkinson added that had things not gone to plan in the Heineken Cup and Top 14 Finals that he’s not sure how he might have coped.

“I don’t know… that’s why I’m very happy,” Wilkinson told Rugbyrama.

“The end of the season went perfectly. Everything is finished. If I’d had a kick in the final and I’d missed, I don’t know if it would have been possible for me to live with it. I think it would have been very complicated.

“At the end of it, I was able to breathe a lot easier and turn attention to something else.

“Of course there are things that I will miss. But it was a good decision to stop. Until then, I continued because I wasn’t sure of my decision. But I finished with the double and it was an opportunity to say thank you and goodbye.”

Asked if he was a different man, Wilkinson stated that his focus had dramatically changed and that he was slowly adapting his daily routine.

“Yes, I think I am. I see the world in a slightly different way. Of course I must get used to certain things – not getting up in the morning, going straight to training for two hours alone,” added Wilkinson.

“It was an enormously useful therapy for me to spend two hours just kicking a ball. It was a way to teach me things, to solve problems in my life. Now what motivates and inspires me is to help other players.”

Source: Planet Rugby

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Is this house a perfect ten? Jonny Wilkinson puts the luxury home he says ‘saved his career’ on the market

Posted by Sonja in Jun 28,2014 with No Comments

Set in the sprawling plains of English countryside, this is the retreat that former England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson claims saved his career.

The 19th century mansion in Northumberland is shrouded in five acres of idyllic fields.

And the pool, gym and sauna aren’t half bad either.

Now taking up a coaching role with French club Toulon, the fly half is putting his seven-bedroom home on the market.

Jonny, who recently retired from the game, said being able to build his own gym and concentrate on his fitness helped save his career.

He said: ‘When I went through my injury period between 2004 and 2007, I just couldn’t stay fit and I was struggling.

‘It was then I decided to extend the property to include space for a gym and a swimming pool.

‘It kind of saved my career. My whole life was about doing rehab and gym work to try and stay fit and get back into my job. It became a bit of a retreat almost.

‘I could do what I had to do, but still have all the peace and quiet that comes with the house.’
Potential buyers can look forward to dips in the custom-built pool, which is in a separate outhouse with a sauna and, upstairs, three spare bedrooms.

The main house has five reception rooms, a breakfasting kitchen, four double bedrooms and three bathrooms.

With one and a half acres of formal gardens, the new owner will also have three and a half acres of paddocks to enjoy.

And, of course, they will no doubt be lured by the 16 square-foot gym and adjacent weights room, where Jonny honed his stellar career.

Jonny added: ‘The views go on forever. It’s that kind of thing that I’m going to miss. It’s that beautiful and that much of a privilege to live here.

‘But at the same time, it’s one of those things when suddenly your life takes shape in front of you and you have to move on.

‘The house is very special to me as it’s where I spent the mainstay of my rugby career.’

Rowan Tree Grange, Northumberland, is for sale through Foster Madison at a guide price of £1.5m.The house dates from the late 1800s and has been updated throughout.

Source: Daily Mail

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Steve Black: I used to say Jonny would reach his peak at 33 or 34 . . . I was wrong – it came at 35!

Posted by Sonja in Jun 23,2014 with No Comments

He has built a considerable reputation working with rugby’s golden boy Jonny Wilkinson, he of the angelic face and ferocious work ethic.

Wilkinson is very much Mr Clean, a man who can make Cliff Richard appear risque, yet Steve Black’s latest proteges are greatly different.

Joey Barton and Danny Cipriani are, by reputation, two of sport’s bad boys who have turned to Blackie to help them regain lost ground.

One of Steve’s friends, upon hearing of his work with Barton and Cipriani, phoned him up to ask: “Hey, have you opened a school for wayward boys?”

The big Geordie gives out a throaty laugh at the very thought. It appeals to his sense of humour.

However those liaisons are now deep-rooted and appear to be working with both giving fulsome praise to a man they approached for one-on-ones.

Cipriani is rehabilitated and has been back on tour with England in New Zealand having been internationally exiled since 2008, while Barton has just won promotion on to the Premier League stage with QPR.

Such is the impact Black has made at Loftus Road that manager Harry Redknapp has taken him on to his backroom staff for the forthcoming season.

It is, though, his unbreakable bond with Jonny Wilkinson that defines the diverse career of Black and with which he will always be associated.

Both have been back on Tyneside in the last week working together as they first did when, aged 17, a fresh-faced Wilkinson arrived at Newcastle Falcons straight from school.

It began a relationship which culminated recently in the finest No 10 of all time retiring at 35 having just skippered Toulon to the French championship, Super 14 Play-Off victory, and the Heineken Cup (Europe’s championship) for the second successive year.

Steve’s family home has always been here, of course, but Wilko has also kept his Geordie roots – he is only about to sell his house now five years after going to Toulon, while his parents and grandparents live in the rolling Northumberland countryside, as does brother Mark who runs Jonny’s clothing company.

Blackie remembers with affection the early days of Wilkinson at the Falcons, who were bursting with rugby superstars bought by the barrowload upon the advent of professional rugby.

“I was taken to Kingston Park by Sir John Hall,” Steve told me. “I had been working with Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United and I was more than happy to join the staff at the Falcons.

“Steve Bates was on our coaching panel and he brought Jonny to the area – Steve had been his teacher at school. I realised straight away we had a future star, not just because of his unique talent but his dedication to work.

“I remember sitting in the bootroom one day having a cup of coffee with Alan Irvine – he has just got the manager’s job at West Bromwich but was a Newcastle coach at the time.

“Looking out of the window Alan asked me: ‘What’s he done?’ Outside was a kid on his own with a sack of balls kicking them down the field, going after them, and kicking them back. It was Jonny Wilkinson.

“Alan thought it was a punishment. He was on jankers for some misdemeanour. ‘No,’ I said, ‘that’s a young land called Jonny Wilkinson just doing his thing. Remember the name. He’s going to be special’.

“We had a walk round the ground etc and an hour-and-a-half later when we came back Jonny was still there practising. ‘That’s astonishing,’ maintained Irvine shaking his head.”

On another occasion Wilkinson’s obsessive dedication to improvement amazed even Rob Andrew, his Falcons boss and an outstanding England fly-half himself.

“I used to work players when they were knackered with sweat dripping off them by putting on a session with a football not a rugby ball,” recalled Black. “I would ask them to kick the ball left foot then right against a brick wall.

“However with the bounce on the ground that was too easy for Jonny so I made him do it by volleying the ball which never touched terra firma. ‘You’ve got to come and see it sometime Rob,’ I said. ‘It’s eerie’.

“A few days later Rob wandered in. I asked him how many times he thought Wilkinson could volley the ball left foot and right without it hitting the floor. The idea was not just about a player’s touch but his concentration.

“Rob said maybe around 15. Jonny could knock off nearer 500. Honestly.”

Even when Wilkinson quit Newcastle to play in France, Blackie would go over regularly to do session work with him.

“I used to say years ago that Jonny would reach his peak at 33 or 34,” maintained Black. “People would look at me as though I was crazy. Well I was wrong. His best season came at 35!”

Wilko endeared himself to the French public by the way he embraced Gallic life.

“He speaks fluent French and as captain did all his Press conferences in French,” said Blackie. “He gave him team talks in both French and English because of the non-French players in the squad.

“This man has become as big a legend over there as he is here. He’s won the French Sports Personality of the Year, as he did with the BBC in this country, has been European and World Player of the Year, and has in the last two years skippered Toulon to successive European championships.

“Jonny recently gave a speech in Paris where he shared the stage with two Nobel Prize winners. That’s his stature over there.

“In the last week we went to Newcastle University business school and in walked this fella who spotted Wilkinson and, wreathed in smiles, began jabbering away with him in French. It turned out the guy was from Toulon.”

Blackie was, as he should have been, sitting in the Paris crowd, chest pumped out with pride, to watch Wilkinson undertake his last competitive game of rugby in the Super 14 play-offs. Steve had missed Cardiff and the Heineken Cup finale against Saracens the previous week because such is his own success that he was at Wembley with QPR tasting further triumph.

The man who kicked England to World Cup immortality isn’t severing his links with Toulon upon retirement.

“Jonny has agreed to become a consultant who will do some skill work with the squad,” Blackie told me.

“And we will, of course, continue our business association. Jonny is family now.”

Source: Chronicle

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