Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Wilkinson retires from England duty

Jonny Wilkinson

England's World Cup winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has retired from international rugby.

Wilkinson, whose drop-goal secured victory against Australia in the final of the 2003 World Cup, won 91 caps for his country as well as six Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions.

The Rugby Football Union confirmed the 32-year-old had announced his retirement and, in a statement on his own website, www.jonnywilkinson.com, he wrote: "I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from international rugby."

He continued: "To do so fills me with great sadness, but I know I have been blessed in so many ways to have experienced what I have with the England rugby team."

Wilkinson retires in second on the all-time Test scoring lists with 1,246 points - 1,179 of those for England - placing him just behind New Zealand's Dan Carter.

His record for his country includes six tries, 162 conversions, 239 penalties and a record 36 drop goals.

His statement continued: "To say I have played through four World Cups, two Lions tours, 91 international games and a ridiculous number of injuries and other set backs gives me an incredibly special feeling of fulfilment. But by now I know myself well enough to know that I will never truly be satisfied!

"It goes without saying that I would like to wish Stuart Lancaster, his coaches and the England Squad every bit of success available to them. I would also very much like to extend those wishes to Martin Johnson, Brian Smith, Mike Ford, John Wells, Graham Rowntree and the rest of the England 2011 World cup management team who have been fantastic and deserve people to know that.

"For me now, I will continue to focus ever harder on my goal of being the very best I can be with Toulon Rugby Club and continue to embrace and enjoy wherever that path takes me."

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