Jonny Wilkinson CBE
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 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 England Rugby World Cup winning squad, scoring the winning drop goal in the last minute of extra time to defeat Australia in the final. He then came back from several injuries to lead England to the final of the 2007 World Cup in Paris.
He won two European Cups plus a top 14 Title with Toulon where he moved to in 2008 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 in 2005 to New Zealand. On 3 April 2009 at Guildford Cathedral, Wilkinson was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Surrey for services to the sports industry.
He announced his retirement from International Rugby in early December 2011 and in May 2014, Wilkinson announced that he would retire from all rugby at the end of that season.
His last two professional games resulted in championship wins. On 24 May 2014, he led Toulon to a decisive 23–6 win against Saracens in the 2014 Heineken Cup Final. One week later he led Toulon to another championship, this time the French Top 14 Final against Castres at the Stade De France. At the final whistle, supporters from both French clubs sang God save the Queen in tribute to him.
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