Telstra Stadium. Sydney, Australia. It is a rainy autumn night, the one of November 22, 2003. It is the 100th minute of the Rugby World Cup final between the local team and England. The game went into extra time after tests by Tuqiri and Robinson, as well as a cross between the Wallabies’ 12, Flatley, and the Rosa’s 10, Jonny Wilkinson. It is at that precise moment when Wilko receives the oval from the hands of his hinge partner, Matt Dawson. He outlines with the right, his bad leg (the least good actually), lowers his head and the drop is played.
About 83,000 souls follow the flight live. Various aussies, including Larkham or Gregan, try to avoid the inetivable. The parable is not particularly pronounced, but it is pronounced enough that the almond avoids the crossbar and slips into the H. England, the cradle of this game, is world champion for the first time.
This sequence made Wilkinson one of the most beloved athletes on the other side of the English Channel. Eleven years after the defining moment (it would even be worth a run for the almanacs, in 2014, Frimley’s would hang up his boots. Behind him twelve years in the Newcastle Falcons and five in the mammoth Toulon de Mourad Boudjellal, which he joined in 2009; in their showcases, in addition to the aforementioned Webb Ellis Cup, a Premiership, two Champions League and four Six Nations. To this day, he is still the top scorer in the history of the World Cups (277 points). Glossing all his significant records would make for an encyclopedic tome.
Books, TV and mental problems
What happened to Wilko once he was away from the pitch? The smile of England, the ideal son-in-law of the kingdom, a knight of the Order of the British Empire (Elizabeth II named him in 2003) went through difficult moments throughout his career. He started to heal when he decided to put an end to it. “My life was exclusively about what I could do physically, the things I could achieve. I saw my body as a tool. Now I don’t need success to be happy. I am at peace and happy with myself and with my body,” he acknowledged. little to Yorkshire Post.
At 41, six after retirement, He has written five books, from an autobiography to a manual for playing rugby your way. He has also commented on games for Sky and ITV and made his first steps as a coach. Since 2013 he has been married to Shelley Jenkins, who gave birth to their first child in 2018. Together they live in Berkshire, in the south of England. He owns a clothing brand, Fineside, and is an ambassador for a cosmetics firm, Puressentiel. You recently identified three phases in your life. The current one, the third, is to get rid of “all assumptions and judgments” and explore “everything” that can be. Curious for someone who has already been everything, at least in rugby.