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Posted On: February 2, 2016 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: 6nations, England, England Rugby

Jonny Wilkinson insists England cannot expect a quick-fix under new head coach Eddie Jones.

Jones will oversee his first match in charge since replacing Stuart Lancaster in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield having had only two weeks to leave his imprint on the team.

England are seeking to climb back to the sport’s top tier after failing to progress from the group stage of last autumn’s World Cup and Wilkinson insists that alongside France, who also have a new coach in Guy Noves, they will need to show patience.

‘It is such a tough balance to strike because both these nations have been used to strong international teams and both quite rightly expect good results,’ said Wilkinson on behalf of ITV’s Six Nations live coverage.

‘High-level rugby teams with lasting quality are built from the bottom up, however, and this cannot be done in a few weeks and a harsh conversation or two.
‘The first run out is often not the most challenging because the excitement, energy and desire to prove yourself can combine to make something extraordinary.

‘It is the rest of the tournament and beyond where good coaching, man management and preparation will be tested.

‘Both of these teams will come out firing, it is a case of 100 per cent or not at all at this level which means committing fully to every decision and ultimately trusting your plan, your team and yourself.’

Wilkinson, who oversees occasional kicking sessions with England, insists teams with ambitions of winning the Six Nations must hit the ground running.

‘Scotland will be full of confidence after a great World Cup and Wales will carry a lot of momentum from a courageous effort too,’ Wilkinson said.

‘It will be very exciting to see what France, Ireland, Italy and England bring to the tournament.

‘We will get a great picture of how these guys plan to carry on after a difficult time and an idea of the future identities of these teams.

‘Whoever gels together fastest will prove the most dangerous.’

Source Daily Mail

Posted On: January 30, 2016 | Posted By: admin | Filed Under: 6nations, Coach Wilko, England, England Rugby, Jonny The Coach

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So, after a ‘chance’ encounter with Eddie Jones in Waitrose, Jonny Wilkinson has already been into Pennyhill Park this week and conducted his first skills sessions.
This can only be great for England rugby, although I do wonder quite how random that superstore encounter was.
I have this image of Eddie staking out the shop for hours and hiding behind the bread racks before finally pouncing on Jonny down the organic vegetable aisle.
It’s a really interesting development and I am totally in favour — but whatever Jonny does he will want to be absolutely world class at it. That’s in his DNA, so England need to be thinking long term, not short term.
In the short term, the whole England squad will get a thrill working with Wilkinson. In the long term, his vast potential as a coach needs to be encouraged and nurtured.
Jonny remains a very valuable rugby resource for England. This is an individual who could potentially coach England one day.
Eddie has made light of Jonny’s involvement — he will just drop in for the occasional kicking or skills session — and playing down Jonny’s role suggests that Eddie knows not to over-hype the situation. That is sensible.

Should Owen Farrell have a poor day with the boot against Scotland, all the attention could be honed in on Wilkinson and that would not be helpful.
Time is on Eddie’s side right now and he can afford to give Jonny some freedom. But I hope privately he is figuring out how best to establish Jonny as a coach in the long term, whereby England will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
I believe Jonny can take this in whichever direction he likes.

If he wants to become the best technical kicking and handling skills coach in the game, rather like his mentor Dave Alred, he could. But there is also no reason why Jonny could not become a head coach of the very highest calibre.
During his final years at Toulon he was virtually a player-coach, not to mention captain. Seeing him in this role and how he conducted himself was an absolute revelation, even to me, as I remembered the shy 17-year-old boy who could barely look anyone in the eye.
To become the best fly-half in the world he had to transform himself from a timid youngster into a general and against all his natural instincts he pulled it off, becoming one of the most commanding fly-halves in the game by the age of 23.
Later at Toulon, in his full maturity, he took his communication and leadership skills to higher levels still. I’ve no doubt he can do it again as a coach.
Players of massive, world repute hung on his every word and found themselves motivated by his levels of application and dedication.
Toulon team-mate Matt Giteau will tell you that it was Jonny more than any other player who put the fire back in his belly, re-motivated him and demonstrated exactly the commitment required after he had fallen out of love with Australian rugby.

Importantly, Jonny was not a mercurial talent, or an individual blessed by the sporting gods who found the game effortless. He became the best player in the world and won everything because of how much knowledge he acquired and his work ethic.
Knowledge is vital. I consider knowledge the most under-estimated and under-rated resource in sport and Jonny has bags of it. Jonny was one of the finest technicians in the game. When you looked at how he passed, kicked, tackled it was near-flawless technically. Even those perceived flaws, such as his speed or footwork, he put a huge amount of time into.
Meanwhile, from an early age he led our tactical discussions when we analysed the opposition.
The rugby knowledge in this guy is phenomenal and he also has other strings to his bow.
I have always been critical of ‘sports psychologists’ — for me, that is all part of the coach’s role, getting the players’ heads in the right space.
You don’t need a degree in psychology to be effective in this area; it is about observing, listening and understanding — and that should be down to the coach.

More than almost any modern player, Jonny knows the importance of getting the right mindset. He has studied it more than any other athlete and, through hard-won experience, knows the importance of not overcomplicating things.
I can’t think of anybody better to look a fellow sportsman in the eye and empathise with what he is thinking and feeling.
How does Eddie handle this valuable rugby resource?
In answering this we need to think beyond only Jonny. Although certainly unique in his nature, Jonny is but one of many bright English rugby minds. Since 2008, the RFU has taken to drafting highly promising but ultimately inexperienced coaches straight into international Test rugby before they earn their stripes in a club environment.
Meanwhile, those head coaches who have established records, gathered knowledge and identified their coaching philosophies with a club have been deemed not good enough to operate at an international level. On the back of two dismal World Cups and a period where we have not threatened the top of the world rankings it has proven not only wrong, but also very confusing.

For that reason I don’t think placing Jonny full-time into the England coaching team would be the right approach at this stage. But neither do I see him fulfilling his potential by dropping in for the occasional kicking and skills session. He needs to put in the hard yards on the coaching front and a big role at a top English or French club must be his aim.
The same must go for all promising English coaches, of which there are many. The RFU may have overlooked the likes of Jim Mallinder, Richard Cockerill and Rob Baxter but they are clearly head coaches of substance while the likes of Alex King and Joe Worsley have made outstanding starts to their coaching careers.
Jonny would take his place alongside that duo as the next generation, but those coaches need to know England will look their way when the big appointments are made. Use their knowledge.
I am sure Eddie will provide much-needed clarity in this area because, frankly, its embarrassing that there are no English head coaches in the top couple of tiers of Test rugby.

New Zealand coaches, however, lead four of the top nine teams in the world while Australians have reset the boundaries with how Michael Cheika and Stephen Larkham operate, floating between club and country. I would love to see Wilkinson or King offered similar freedom.
I am continually asked why more of the class of 2003 are not working more directly with the England team. Certainly the likes of Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood, Matt Dawson and Martin Johnson, to name a few, probably have just as much coaching potential as Wilkinson. But, to date, the RFU has either misunderstood or been hesitant to get these guys involved.
Yes, potentially they could be disruptive, challenging and questioning, but anyone worth their salt always is. We need to be braver, bolder and smarter in how we handle our coaches.

But there is no rush. Like all things, coaching takes time to hone skills and learn how to do it. From the off, Eddie will have an outstanding and confident consultant in Jonny and the players can instantly begin benefiting from his coaching — but give him time to develop.
England have got lucky with Eddie Jones. Circumstances have created a major change in the head coach and his team which I believe will give England a really great chance come the next World Cup. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if Jones could seamlessly pass on a World Cup-winning baton to Jonny Wilkinson in 2019?

Daily Mail

Posted On: January 17, 2016 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Coach Wilko, England, England Rugby

Eddie Jones has invited Jonny Wilkinson to join his coaching team after meeting with England’s World Cup winning fly-half at a supermarket.

The pair were adversaries in 2003 when Jones oversaw the Australia side defeated in the Sydney final, but last Saturday they exchanged views on how best to revive Red Rose fortunes after years of under-achievement.

Wilkinson has been performing a part-time coaching role at Toulon and by the end of the conversation that took place near England’s Surrey training base, he had been offered a position alongside Jones’ assistants Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard.

“We would like to get Jonny involved, but he’s quite a private person. We are having chats about it,” Jones said.

“I saw him down at Waitrose shopping with a beanie over his head. I had coffee with him.”

When asked what advice Wilkinson gave him, Jones said: “Get them kicking more”.
Apart from Wilkinson’s technical expertise, Jones believes the retired 36-year-old would also set an example through a work ethic that sees him continue to practise kicking for several hours a week.

“After we had coffee he went and did a kicking session and he doesn’t play any more. Why was he one of the best in the world? Because he did that. That’s the difference,” Jones said.

“No-one tells him to do that because he is retired, but he still wants to be a good kicker does Jonny Wilkinson. How many of these players do that now? That is the key going forward.

“Our job as coaches is to create that environment where players are encouraged to do that – we can’t tell them to do it.

“Anywhere in the world the good players tend to rise up and there should be a gap between the really good players and the average players.

“A good player has that little bit extra, and we are talking about two or three per cent extra.

“He does that little bit of extra analysis, stretches, goes for a swim and takes a bag of balls to kick.

“I want that attitude and I want to see how desperate they are to become a better player.”

Jones, who replaced Stuart Lancaster after England were knocked out of their own World Cup at the group stage, is unlikely to appoint a skills coach for fear of over-burdening players with too much information.

“I need to assess whether we need one. One of the things I heard about the World Cup, and I got it from a number of sources, is that there wasn’t great clarity in the way the players were coached,” Jones said.

“There were a fair few coaches so there were a lot of different messages. That’s something I’m conscious about at the moment.”

Source: Daily Mail

Posted On: December 24, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Uncategorized

We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A special Merry Christmas wish to Jonny, Shelley and their family.

From all of us at Wilkofans we hope you a wonderful Christmas. Peace, health and happiness to you all. Eat, drink, be merry and stay safe.

Posted On: December 21, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Posted On: November 17, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Uncategorized

The former Newcastle Falcons Player Jonny Wilkinson has been awarded a CBE for services to Rugby.

The 36 year old, who also helped steer England to World cup victory in 2003, was presented with the award at Buckingham Palace. Wilkinson retired from the sport last year.

Source: ITV

Posted On: October 7, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Fineside

Posted On: October 2, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Fineside

Posted On: September 30, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: England, World Cup 2015

Rugby World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson has backed England to overcome the setback against Wales and beat Australia on Saturday.

The England legend expects the atmosphere, support and intensity of the match to be bigger and better than ever.

Wilkinson said: “This weekend is going to be a huge match there’s no doubt, especially for this England team but I’m full of confidence, I have been all tournament.

“The fact that the last 10 minutes of a game doesn’t go your way, and the result turns on its head, doesn’t change a thing. It doesn’t mean a team suddenly are no longer the team they were. In fact, it just makes them a bigger and better team.”

England take on Australia at Twickenham on Saturday 3 October at 8pm.

To view the video click on the link below

England Rugby.com

Posted On: September 19, 2015 | Posted By: Sonja | Filed Under: Uncategorized