World Cup-winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson hopes coaching will lead to a role with England
Jonny Wilkinson has embarked on a coaching career that he hopes will one day culminate in a role with England. The World Cup-winning fly-half retired from international rugby in December having won 91 caps for England but has extended his contract with Toulon for another season.
The 33 year-old remains a central figure for the French side. He kicked four penalties in Toulon’s Top 14 final defeat by Toulouse at the Stade de France this month. Yet a player famed for his seemingly indefatigable pursuit of perfection admits imparting knowledge to others is now bringing him as much satisfaction as his self-improvement.
Three of Wilkinson’s former England team-mates – Graham Rowntree, Andy Farrell and Mike Catt have already formed part of Stuart Lancaster’s coaching team.
“I like to work with people who want to get better more than anything else. Once you have that, you can start to create major differences.
“The important thing is that it is a start point [for me]. I still want to get better myself but also pass it on to people who want to do the same.”
Wilkinson recently spent the day coaching at Southwark Tigers RFC in London as part of Gillette’s Great Start campaign, which aims to encourage people to get involved in coaching.
“I see young players who have levels of ability that I never had at that stage and it is great to think what they could do with it for English rugby,” Wilkinson added.
“I am finding out a lot about myself and where I am going from my journey with Toulon and what my role is each year and the team around me. I want to keep getting better and at the moment that is playing rugby and also helping guys out where I can.”
Wilkinson is optimistic England can end their three-Test series against South Africa with a victory in Port Elizabeth on Saturday but insists he is not missing the international stage.
“Looking back now and looking at the shape of the team as it stands at the moment, I know it is not right for me to be there. It is not my place at all,” he added. “It is up to these guys now. They deserve their time and they are going to do something great with their time as well.”
Watch the video of Jonny's coaching day at Telegraph.co.uk
Gillette is partnering with ‘sports coach UK’ to sponsor a significant number of coaching qualifications by awarding ‘Great Start’ grants in 2012. facebook.com/GilletteUK