Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Jonny Wilkinson, once regarded as the best rugby player on the planet, has completed a lucrative two year deal with French Top 14 club Toulon that will see him join a whole host of new players at the big spending club.
Having spent 12 years at Newcastle, the 2003 World Cup winner will head across the channel in the hope of rejuvenating his career after suffering so many terrible injuries over the years.
Wilkinson still only 29 years old, played just four games for his club last season and has since been sidelined for five months after dislocating his kneecap.
Hes looking to change his fortunes with the move to France, and still has aspirations of playing for his country again, with a possible five years still left in his career.
"I hope it will give me the games to rebuild an international career," he said. "I haven't played, for obvious reasons, and so I haven't figured for England and I want that to change.
"I feel I have to give myself a new environment and a new start. I could not forgive myself if I didn't try everything to get myself out playing regularly."
Wilkinson, who will be raking in a reported 700 000 euros (623,000) a year, will probably make his debut for Toulon in mid August when the Top 14 campaign kicks off.
Theres no doubt that a fit Jonny Wilkinson is one of the most commanding players to have ever set foot on a rugby field. Heres hoping that Wilko finds his feet in France, and gets back to the kind of form that he achieved at his greatest hours.
This BBC clip shows some of Jonnys better moments for England over the years, specifically in the Six Nations. If he gets 100% fit, will he reach those highs again? Or is he past it?