Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Will France repatriate its collection of 19th century Algerian skulls?

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Dancer', 'Aquarius' and 'Dogs'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

War in Syria: Residents recount ordeal of life in Aleppo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shimon Peres’ Quixotic battle for Israeli-Palestinian peace

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Sarkozy's friends, ongoing cases, bothers

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can oil producers agree to cut supply?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Women terrorists are 'probably the future', says ex-CIA agent

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Malian jihadist jailed for nine years for destroying ancient Timbuktu shrines

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Juncker and Schulz debate the future of Europe

Read more

Sports

England’s Johnny Wilkinson retires from international rugby

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-16

English rugby star Johnny Wilkinson announced his retirement from international rugby on Monday. The 32-year-old will continue to play club-level rugby for French club Toulon.

AP Jonny Wilkinson, England’s World Cup-winning flyhalf in 2003, announced his retirement from international rugby on Monday.

The 32-year-old Wilkinson, who played 91 times for his country after making his debut in 1998, had his most famous moment eight years ago when he kicked the winning drop goal in England’s 20-17 extra-time victory over Australia.

“The time has come ... for me to realize that I have gone as far as I can go with this England team and that the time is right for others to enjoy the same honour and pride that I have felt over the past 15 seasons and beyond,” Wilkinson said in a statement on his personal website.

Wilkinson’s last appearance for England was in the quarterfinal defeat to France at this year’s World Cup. He finished his international career by scoring a 1,246 test points - a one-time record before he was overtaken last year by New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter.

He will continue playing club rugby with French team Toulon, which he joined from long-time English side Newcastle Falcons in 2009.

“I will continue to focus ever harder on my goal of being the very best I can be with Toulon and continue to embrace and enjoy wherever that path takes me,” Wilkinson said. “I certainly have no intention of letting this decision change the way that I approach my training and preparation for games. In fact, early indication shows me that I’m actually getting more intense about it.”

A fiercely committed defender with a strong tackle for a No. 10, Wilkinson’s post-2003 World Cup career was blighted by injury but he rediscovered his fitness and some of his best form after moving to the warmer climate in the south of France.

Having lost his place in the England team to Toby Flood for this year’s Six Nations title-winning campaign, he regained it in time for the start of the World Cup but failed to produce his form of old with the boot.

“Playing the game, representing the team, giving my all and never letting go has meant everything to me,” he said. “I do, have done and always will believe that I am very capable of performing and thriving at any level of the sport.”

Wilkinson also won six caps for the British & Irish Lions across two tours, in 2001 and 2005.

Date created : 2011-12-12

  • RUGBY

    England wins Six Nations tournament

    Read more

  • RUGBY - SIX NATIONS

    England contemplates Grand Slam after edging out France

    Read more

  • RUGBY

    Wilkinson signs for another year in the sun

    Read more

COMMENT(S)