Rugby Union

Jonny Wilkinson happy with retirement decision

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At the end of the 2014 season Jonny Wilkinson, an England legend, hung up his boots and left the game after 17 years of service, but now after a five-year spell with Toulon the 35-year-old has taken up a coaching role at the club.

According to, Wilkinson discussed how it was the right time to end his career, and now he is looking forward to becoming a coach with the team he won the Heineken Cup with twice in his five years, while also making 141 appearances.

Good call?

But is the coaching route the way to go for Wilkinson? From his own perspective, the Surrey born fly-half understands that leaving the game was a difficult choice to make, but it is about moving forward.

"Of course there are things that I will miss. But it was a good decision to stop. Until then, I continued because I was not sure of my choice. But I finished with the double and it was an opportunity to say thank you and goodbye," he told rugbyrama, according to ESPN.

"That's why I woke up with clear ideas and with the energy to do something else. That's what I felt as a coach. It makes me feel good. I love being in rugby, but without the pressure I put on myself."

Familiar road

Wilkinson will follow the route of some of his counter parts in the likes of Martin Johnson, who coached England, and Josh Lewsey the current head of Rugby for Wales; both taking on commanding roles after great careers.

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The 2003 World Cup winner began his career at Newcastle Falcons in 2007, going on to spend 11 years with the Tyneside club making 182 appearances and scoring over 2,000 points.

In his 11 years at the Falcons he went on to win the Premiership title and the Anglo-Welsh Cup before moving to the South of France.

On the international stage Wilkinson represented England 91 times, playing in four World Cups and eight Six Nations tournaments, which included scoring over 1,100 points in his 14 years in an England jersey.


Wilkinson will become a skills coach for Toulon and has pushed himself to become one of the greatest fly-halves in Rugby, mainly for what he has accomplished on club and international level.

Youngsters would look up to the former Newcastle Falcons player, as Wilkinson has done it all, from winning the World Cup to helping the Top 14 team win major honours before leaving the game.

Considering Toulon have only one other fly-half in the experienced Frederic Michalak, their sites may be on to find a younger player who could be nurtured by the Wilkinson, making the appointment a fantastic move by the club based in the South of France.

Time will tell if Wilkinson will remain as a coach or go on to take up a more prestigious role, but at the moment Toulon will focus on the season ahead and try to repeat last years' success.

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Jonny Wilkinson
Top 14
Rugby Union
Newcastle Falcons
England Rugby

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