Jonny Wilkinson, Emily Scarratt and Brian O’Driscoll honoured by the Rugby Union Writers’ Club

Posted by Sonja in Jan 13,2015 with No Comments

Emily Scarratt has won the prestigious Rugby Union Writers’ Club Pat Marshall Memorial Award as the sport’s personality of the year for 2014.

Jonny Wilkinson and Brian O’Driscoll have also been honoured, receiving the RUWC’s discretionary Special Award for their services to rugby during distinguished careers.

The awards were presented to Scarratt and Wilkinson at a gala ceremony in central London on Monday night, with O’Driscoll unable to attend due to family commitments.

Scarratt is recognised after playing a key role in England’s World Cup triumph in France last summer that saw her contribute 16 points in the final as Canada were dispatched 21-9, a haul that included a dazzling solo try.

The 24-year-old from Lichfield, who can play outside centre or full-back, finished as the tournament’s top points scorer with 70 and has amassed 55 caps since making her debut against the United States in 2008.

She becomes the second woman to win the award after England team-mate Maggie Alphonsi was honoured in 2010. Scarratt was joined on the four-strong shortlist by World Cup captain Katie McLean.

Completing the quartet were Wilkinson and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who steered the Irish to the 2014 RBS 6 Nations title and a clean sweep of autumn victories over South Africa, Georgia and Australia in his first full year in charge.

The Special Award has been won by Wilkinson and O’Driscoll to mark the end of two outstanding playing careers after the British and Irish Lions duo chose the end of the 2013-14 season to retire.

England’s World Cup-winning fly-half Wilkinson and Ireland’s all-time great O’Driscoll were named personality of the year in 2002 and 2009 respectively and now follow in the footsteps of Lawrence Dallaglio, the only other player to have won both awards.

Source: Daily Mail

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Happy New Year!!

Posted by Sonja in Dec 31,2014 with No Comments

What an amazing year 2014 turned out to be!!

In May Jonny announced his retirement from rugby, the man who kicked the worlds most famous drop goal was hanging up his boots.

He had no time to sit back, relax (if he ever does!) and reflect, he had his to last two games to prepared for, two finals.

Over the next two weeks Jonny lead Toulon to victory in both the Heineken Cup against Saracens in Cardiff, his last game in British soil and to Champions of France in Paris, his final ever game.

The jubilant and emotional celebrations after both games was amazing and watching Jonny lift both trophies was a perfect and fitting end to such an amazing rugby Journey.

I can honestly say I shed a tear when the final whistle went in Paris and I’m sure I wasn’t alone, there can not have been a rugby fan out there who did not want this fairytale ending.

The tributes poured in from around the world, hero, inspirational, legend, words used over and over. Jonny’s drop goal on that night in Sydney was relived by England fans who will never forget such a moment and who gave it to us.

I will always support and man who pulls on the 10 shirt for England, cheer him on and be grateful for the points his boot gives us but a part of me will always want it to be that man with that famous pose.

As 2015 approaches and Jonny takes on new challenges, we wish him well and hope the year ahead for him, Shelley and their families is a great one.

Happy New year everyone we wish you health, love and happiness for the coming year and we thank you for your banter, links and pictures, you are all what makes Wilkofans such an amazing site.

See you in 2015.

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No knighthood for Jonny Wilkinson in New Years hours list

Posted by admin in Dec 31,2014 with No Comments

Reports that the rugby star Jonny Wilkinson was soon to be Sir Jonny have proven to be groundless and prompted an investigation into how individuals are wrongly named as receiving honours.

From reading all your tweets it’s a big mistake but the French seem to already class him as ‘Sir Jonny’ so why not us? Hehe maybe next year!

Sara

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England rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson to be knighted in New Year’s Honours next

Posted by admin in Dec 27,2014 with No Comments

Rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson is to set to ­receive a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours next week.

The 35-year-old, who ­inspired England to World Cup glory in Sydney in 2003, has had a glittering 17-year career.

But he is also being ­recognised for his ­extensive charity work in Britain, including for the NSPCC, and in France, where he played for Toulon for five years.

A well-placed source said tonight: “Jonny is one of Britain’s greatest-ever sportsmen.

“He has always represented England with distinction. He is a hero and a shining example to millions around the world. He thoroughly deserves this.”

Wilkinson, who played fly-half and inside centre, announced his retirement from rugby union in May. He spent 12 seasons with Newcastle Falcons before joining Toulon in 2009.

His performance in the Sydney World Cup earned him the OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours list.

Wilkinson kicked a last-minute drop-goal in extra time to seal victory over Australia in the final – and had earlier kicked all of England’s points in their 24-7 semi-final win over France.2007, he overtook Gavin Hastings as the tournament’s all-time high-scorer.

He became the first player to pass 1,000 points for England in 2008, overtaking Argentine Hugo Porta’s world record, and the next month was confirmed as test ­rugby’s leading scorer.

Wilkinson is one of just five men to score more than 1,000 points in international rugby and the only player to score points in two separate World Cup finals.

He married long-term ­girlfriend Shelley in 2013 and has won BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The star has been tipped for a knighthood repeatedly though his career was blighted by injuries.

Source Mirror Sport mirror.co.uk

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Merry Christmas

Posted by Sonja in Dec 24,2014 with No Comments

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

Have a fantastic Christmas everyone, have fun, eat, drink be merry and stay safe.

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11 years ago today – Jonny Wilkinson…. he’s done it!!

Posted by Sonja in Nov 22,2014 with No Comments

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England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson gives inspiring bilingual team talk in amazing video

Posted by Sonja in Nov 08,2014 with No Comments

It’s hard enough giving a passionate team talk in your native language.

But England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson does it in both English and French.

Wilkinson, 35, delivered the epic speech as he captained former team Toulon to a European double earlier this year.

The French side beat Castres 18-10 in June to win the French Top 14 final, just eight days after retaining the Heineken Cup by beating Saracens.

Wilkinson’s inspirational half-time speech appears in a teaser for a film about Toulon’s double-winning season ‘En route vers le double’.

He stands at the head of his teammates, who listen intently before they touch hands and shout enthusiastically as they head out for the second-half.

Wilkinson, who retired from the sport following the double triumph, was awarded honorary citizenship of Toulon by the city’s mayor as the curtain came down on his glittering career.

Mirror

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Merci Jonny

Posted by Sonja in Nov 04,2014 with No Comments

Having converted the World Cup-winning drop goal, Jonny Wilkinson will forever be remembered a great of English rugby.

But having spent five years at Toulon before retiring, the iconic fly-half discovered that love is reciprocated by the French.

Ahead of the upcoming Autumn Internationals, Wilkinson is the subject of a clip, simply titled ‘Merci’, as Toulon supporters and key figures pay homage to their former player.

Labelled ‘the perfect man’, he is commended on his ‘humility, courage and solidarity’ having battled back from a series of injuries during his time in France.

The clip is the first of four from Guinness as they attempt to rally the Home Nations. Shane Williams, Bill McLaren and the legendary Munster team of 1978 will also be the subject of short films

Source Mirror

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Jonny Wilkinson – ‘Mentally I’d had enough of living like that

Posted by Sonja in Oct 16,2014 with No Comments

Jonny Wilkinson may have said on a number of occasions he would never work in TV after retiring, but this weekend he makes his debut for Sky Sports.

Wilkinson has been training every day since he retired and still practises kicking, as well as helping out with coaching at Toulon four of five days a month. But, by his own admission, he is now training for the sake of training, not with any end goal.

In an interview in the Times it is revealed that when Toulon suffered a string of injuries last month Mourad Boudjellal, the owner, asked him seriously if he would consider making a comeback. While he
was probably physically capable, it was not going to happen. In training he still takes an active part and slots in when the team is a player short. But it ends there.

“You find yourself falling right into where you were,” he told the newspaper. “It’s brilliant. I love it. [But] at the end of my career it wasn’t that my body gave out, it was that mentally I’d had enough of living like that.

“I probably could have played on longer. But I’d had enough of putting myself through that. As soon as that touches, my body shuts down.”

His comments put paid to some of the far-fetched suggestions over the summer that he was being lined up for a return in Australia. In fact, he revealed he had almost quit at the end of the 2013-14 season but it was Toulon’s failure to secure the European and domestic double – they lost in the Top 14 final – that made him carry on.

“I thought, ‘You can do this. There’s no point in going out now. You’ll regret it. You’re in an amazing team, make the most of it, go for it next year.’ Then, suddenly, I had committed to another year and it was almost like, ‘If we don’t go out and do the double, all I can do is fail.’ The pressure of doing that swamped the joy of it.”

Would he have stayed on had Toulon come up short again? “I know I’d have been even more keen to run away from the rugby. Now I see there are a lot of things I love about the game that I lost. Now I don’t want to escape, which is what I was doing.”

He misses the game, to his surprise. “I thought I’d want to draw a line under it and let it go. Yet now the do-or-die pressure is off, he has fallen in love with it again. That has made me want to do something with it.”

He will take up a role in the commentary box – “I’ve still got all the notes written before each game, all the things you are thinking about. You either do something with it, or you draw a line under it and chuck it away” – but will not be another former player dissecting the modern ones. “I am not necessarily interested in giving my opinion of who is great and who is rubbish. If you want someone to come in and call black and white, you’re better off getting someone who has maybe never played the game.”

Source: Scrum.com

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Jonny Wilkinson, England’s World Cup winning fly-half, joins Sky Sports

Posted by Sonja in Oct 16,2014 with No Comments

England’s World Cup winning fly-half, Jonny Wilkinson, will feature on-air as an analyst for Sky Sports and as an Ambassador for Sky Sports Living for Sport from October.

He will join Sky’s unrivalled line up of experts during our biggest ever season of international, European and domestic rugby union.

Wilkinson will be in the studio for the first time on Saturday as Sale take on Munster and Premiership champions Northampton Saints travel to Paris to face Racing Métro in Sky Sports’ opening two fixtures in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

He will offer fans his expert insight into the weekend’s action having won the Heineken Cup with RC Toulon for the last two years. He will then be reunited with Sir Clive Woodward and Will Greenwood as England face the All Blacks at Twickenham on 8 November, analysing what it takes to beat the world’s top team.

As part of the new partnership, Wilkinson will also become an Ambassador for the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative, which is free to all secondary schools in the UK and Ireland. He will use his own personal story to inspire young people plus the skills learnt through sport to help increase young people’s confidence, self-esteem, engagement in, and attitudes to, learning, and improve their health and wellbeing.

Wilkinson commented: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have some incredible experiences on the rugby pitch. I’m excited about passing on my passion and sharing what I’ve learnt over the years with Sky Sports viewers and young people in the next chapter of my career. I’ll be in impressive company as I join another successful team and I hope that I can play my part in the studio.”

Barney Francis, Sky Sports Managing Director, commented: “Jonny is a sporting legend. We all remember where we were when we watched that drop goal. Having been there and done it in every competition for club and country, rugby fans will want to hear his perspective on our biggest ever season of international and European rugby. I can’t wait to see him in action.”

Wilkinson retired earlier this year, after taking RC Toulon to the Top 14 and Heineken Cup title in his final season. He ended his career as the second highest international points scorer of all time and played a pivotal role in England’s famous 2003 Rugby World Cup win. He collected four RBS 6 Nation Championship medals, enjoyed Premiership success with Newcastle Falcons and toured twice with The British and Irish Lions.

The Sky Sports rugby union schedule features over 360 live matches this season including Autumn Internationals from England, Ireland, France and Italy, European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, Top 14, Guinness PRO12, IRB Sevens World Series, and women’s rugby.

The Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative has been running in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust since 2003. The free initiative is open to all UK and Irish secondary schools and over 90,000 young people will be involved this year. Wilkinson will join our team of Ambassadors, including Great Britain Olympic Champions Jessica Ennis-Hill and Darren Campbell, plus our Irish Ambassador Olympic Boxer Katie Taylor, alongside our team of 90 world-class Athlete Mentors.

Source: Sky Sports

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