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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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
Click on the link above to hear Jonny’s interview with SkyShare on Facebook
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.”
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.Share on Facebook
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!”Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook