Jonny Wilkinson on club life

Jonny Wilkinson on the highs and lows, his thoughts on retirement and the first time he met the new England team manager

Sunday 23 October 2011 07:28

My path has been an interesting one. It's been a fairly stable one, then a rocky one for four years. At the end of that, there are loads of messages in there for me to take on board, a lot of which I have and others I don't think I have. I think that there are some good pointers in there in terms of where I can go, what's the best way to move forward in terms of my strength and having a greater impact on the people around me.

I cannot get a grip on the way my career went one way for six years, then somewhere else for four, then back this way for the last two. It's just reacting to what's around you in the best possible way. Right now it's an interesting place for me to be, I have never thought I was the undisputed England No.10, that would be disrespectful.

I was scared of Martin Johnson for the first six years of playing with him. It was about that long before I spoke to him. And having got to know him, you still have that respect and awe for him, so it doesn't really change anything.

I cannot question my hunger and desire for rugby. It's like practice - it's not a conscious choice anymore it's part of my life, I do it and I will do it.

The difficulty for me will be having to tell myself to give up. I might need somebody to come in there and do it for me.

As someone who plays in the same position as Danny Cipriani, I think that he has got all the major attributes to be a major player in the position he plays. It took me a long time to learn, but you have to have an opinion as a No.10. You are there to control people, therefore you have to have a confidence that you believe in. You have to tell someone else who may be a lot older and a lot bigger and a lot more experienced and someone who you might not know well, 'this is what you have got to do'. And you have got to have the desire to be accountable for the odd error or thing that goes wrong. You have to be able to put your hand up, take it on the chin, especially during meeting time. But that is the joy of it and the strength of your character, and he has that. He has his opinions and the ways he wants to do things, his own ambition and desire. Skill-wise, he has got everything the guy should have, and then some.

This story was sourced from International Rugby News

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