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Jonny Wilkinson
CBE
Jonathan Peter Wilkinson London 2015 (4)-trimmed.jpg
Wilkinson in September 2015
Birth name Jonathan Peter Wilkinson
Date of birth 25 May 1979 (1979-05-25) (age 40)
Place of birth Frimley, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 14 st 0 lb (89 kg)
School Lord Wandsworth College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997–2009
2009–2014
Newcastle Falcons
Toulon
182
141
(2,049)
(1,884)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1998–2011
2001, 2005
England
British and Irish Lions
91
6
(1,179)
(67)
Official website
http://www.jonnywilkinson.com

Jonathan Peter Wilkinson, CBE (born 25 May 1979) is an English former rugby union player who represented England and the British and Irish Lions. He rose to prominence from 2001 to 2003, before and during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and is widely acknowledged as one of the best rugby union players of all time.

Wilkinson was an integral member of the 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning England squad, scoring the winning drop goal in the last minute of extra time against Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. He then came back from several injuries to lead England to the final of the 2007 World Cup. He played his club rugby union for Toulon following twelve seasons in the English Premiership with the Newcastle Falcons. Wilkinson has also toured twice with the British and Irish Lions, in 2001 to Australia and 2005 to New Zealand, scoring 47 Test points in the tour matches in which he has started (he also scored 20 points in the pre-tour test match against Argentina in Wales).

On 3 April 2009 at Guildford Cathedral, Wilkinson was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Surrey for services to the sports industry. Wilkinson announced his retirement from the English national squad in early December 2011. He retired from all rugby after the end of the 2013–14 season. On 17 November 2016, he was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at the opening ceremony for the Hall's first physical location in Rugby, Warwickshire. Wilkinson is currently a studio pundit for ITV Sport, working on their coverage of the Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup.

Early life

Jonathan Peter Wilkinson was born on 25 May 1979 in Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey. He grew up in Farnham. He attended Pierrepont School, Frensham and Lord Wandsworth College near Hook, Hampshire, and played at a youth level for Farnham Rugby Club. He gained a place at the University of Durham, but gave his place up in 1997 to become a professional rugby union player with the Newcastle Falcons.

Personal life

Wilkinson's brother, Mark, was also a Newcastle player who made 16 appearances in the Premiership for the side between 2002 and 2005, predominantly as a centre. His father, Phil, was a rugby player and cricketer, and his mother, Philippa, played squash at county level.

He has been following Buddhist principles and teachings to help control his perfectionist tendencies, according to an interview he gave with The Times newspaper.

In September 2011, Wilkinson launched Fineside, an online men's fashion label.

On 28 October 2013, Wilkinson married his girlfriend of eight years, scaffolding company heiress Shelley Jenkins, in a private ceremony at the town hall of the French resort of Bandol. Only two guests, one of them Wilkinson's mother, were present at the ceremony officiated by Bandol mayor Christian Palix, who said that "both [are] viewed with great respect" in the community.

Awards

  • In December 2005, Wilkinson was awarded an honorary doctorate in Civil Law by Northumbria University
  • He was the 2003 BBC Sports Personality of the Year
  • He was the 2003 International Rugby Board (IRB) International Player of the Year.

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