Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jonny Wilkinson is back, and better than ever

Jonny Wilkinson is back, and better than ever

He's back. Yes, as predicted, Jonny Wilkinson will be making his return for England when they host the Wallabies in a couple of weeks time at Twickenham.

Martin Johnson has had a torred time when it comes to selection as so many of his first choice players are out with injuries. Ironically, it's that man Wilkinson who's fitter than ever.

He candidly says that he is now better than ever. After watching his progression and form with Toulon, it's difficult to disagree with the star flyhalf who's battled injury throughout his career.

"If you could transport the me now straight into the situations of 2001 and 2003, what would I have done? I think the me now would have been handy," he says.

"I am undoubtedly better. There is no way that the 2001 version would have been able to deal with the 2007 World Cup experience. I don't know how I would have dealt with it. I wouldn't have had the intelligence or the experience.

"I was suited to 2001 or 2003 because I was surrounded by people like Mike Catt, Bracken or Dawson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood, Martin Johnson, pillars all around me," he added.

"I was doing things because I was getting a load of help from them. But that person in 2007, or here in France? Not a chance. I am way better now because I understand what is going on.

"Back then it was like a headache trying to work out 100 things at once. It is almost like you are dissecting and composing, all the time. That much mental strain with the pressure of playing at a high level when I was young, without all that help, wouldn't have combined.

"Now I am processing it without too much effort. That is why, if asked if I will ever be back to where I was in 2003, if the exact same situations ever played out I think I would go all right."

For a man who is so critical of his own performances to rate himself so highly now, shows that we're in for a treat. If Wilko can stay fit, the November Tests are set to quite possibly be the defining point in a career that has been such a roller-coaster ride for one of the most talented flyhalfs of all time.

Will fate intervene yet again, or will Jonny be around in 2011, playing the best rugby of his life? Time will tell, but for now, Wilkinson is here to stay.

Forwards: S Armitage (London Irish), Barnes (Bath), Bell (Bath), Blaze (Leicester), Borthwick (Saracens, capt), Chuter (Leicester), Crane (Leicester), Croft (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), Hartley (Northampton), Haskell (Stade Francais), Kay (Leicester), Lawes (Northampton), Moody (Leicester), Payne (Wasps), Thompson (Brive), Wilson (Bath), Worsley (Wasps).

Backs: Banahan (Bath), Care (Harlequins), Cueto (Sale), Foden (Northampton), Geraghty (Northampton), Goode (Brive), Hipkiss (Leicester), Hodgson (London Irish), Monye (Harlequins), Strettle (Harlequins), Tait (Sale), Tindall (Gloucester), Wigglesworth (Sale), Wilkinson (Toulon).

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:07 pm | View Comments (32)

Viewing 32 comments

Anonymous October 27, 2009 11:40 pm

Heeeee's back!!!!!!!

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Anonymous October 28, 2009 12:37 am

Haway the Falcons. Even if he leaves us we still aren't down and out......yet

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Meldron October 28, 2009 12:43 am

The best flyhalf ever.

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Ed October 28, 2009 12:45 am

Best flyhalf to play the game is back

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pigdem October 28, 2009 12:51 am

even he cant turn around our shitty luck with injuries this autumn. If anyone can stop us getting dry humped its him but im not optimistic. For me thats saying something

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Wickus October 28, 2009 1:14 am

I bet he gets injured in his first match.

You guys are lucky you aren't playing them Bokke again, we'd better our record winning margin in Twickenham this year.

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Anonymous October 28, 2009 1:32 am

wickus - didnt know you had a record winning margin in twickenham?! Last game i choose to remember was a 55-3 victory when you deliberately targeted wilko!!

Also RUGBYDUMP can you please try and find Wilko's try last wkend against Bourgoin I think. thanks!

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Luke October 28, 2009 2:37 am

Wigglesworth. Now there's a REALLY English name.

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Wickus October 28, 2009 3:05 am

Last year, we thrashed you by 40+ points, to make it more impressive that was a weak Bok team, we also had 2 yellow cards. It was a record winning margin at Twickenham against England.

The England team that beat the Boks played against 14 players thanks to a red card. So really, whats more impressive?

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Anonymous October 28, 2009 4:28 am

Whilst on topic of the Springboks (Wickus), I remember watching Ireland beat the Boks 32 15 in 2006, the Boks were also celebrating their centenary game. Ireland's squad was comprised of most of their developing players, great day for Irish rugby. THANK U.

Anyway, on the topic of Wilko, good on him, I can never say Ive liked him that much, but to see a player go through all the highs and lows and to still be regarded as one of the best players in the world, and then to read about him brimming with confidence, only good things can come from it.

He could have an outstanding game, as for the England team itself though, they all have to work extremely hard for these test matches regarding their lack of first choice players. Not even their first choice front row reserves are available (from what Ive heard)

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mcalisterishuge October 28, 2009 6:26 am

wilko against carter. i really want to see the upcoming encounter. i think allblacks going to win it.

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Anonymous October 28, 2009 6:36 am

there is a god and his name jonny

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Anonymous October 28, 2009 6:42 am

Over rated and too old. He's nowhere good as he was, forget the hype. Anyone who's seen him week in and out for Toulon knows he's doing little outstanding.

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sebastian October 28, 2009 7:47 am

i really cant stand all the fuzz lately, just let him play his game

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Dave October 28, 2009 7:55 am

Anonypouss said: "Whilst on topic of the Springboks (Wickus), I remember watching Ireland beat the Boks 32 15 in 2006, the Boks were also celebrating their centenary game. Ireland's squad was comprised of most of their developing players, great day for Irish rugby. THANK U."

That's absolutely not true. That Irish side was helluva strong on paper, and even better on the field. It was the Bok side that comprised a mix of players. Francois Steyn made his debut, and Bryan Habana played at centre ffs! It was an experimental match for us, so we basically disrespected ourselves by mucking about. We got well and truly humped, but it was anything but a strong side for the Boks. Thank YOU.

@ Wickus - you're right about playing against 14 men, it did change the match completely. Was a lame sending off too. But besides that, you've done well to make us all look like arrogant as*holes.

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Gotitall October 28, 2009 8:00 am

Wilkinson vs Giteau is going to be awesome to watch!

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Bradders October 28, 2009 8:53 am

I hate how everyone slates England when Wilko play as we rely to heavily on his abilities and influence in the game. Im sorry but is the Fly Half for christs sake. He is supposed to control the game, work his magic to setup tries and kick as many points as humanly possible.
Might I say, when on form and injury free, he fills that role pretty damn well!

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Wickus October 28, 2009 10:53 am

Dave is correct, that Bok team had Bevin Fortein in it... and you call that a top Bok side?

Ireland rugby is at its peak right now, yet they will still get a good beating against the #1 team in the world. Sad really...


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ireton October 28, 2009 11:09 am

ok how many more articles is RD going to have about its love of Jonny Wilkinson ? there are more players out there !

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tez October 28, 2009 11:50 am

shit looking at that team sheet our forwards are going to get dominated, no doubt about it. I mean Ben Kay COME ON!

bt i suppose there the best we got through injuries...........

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creggs08 October 28, 2009 12:09 pm

off topic here, but cant wait to see banahan .v.s. zac guildford. that would be class

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vinniechan October 28, 2009 12:18 pm

I know he's a good player and good guy, but can't help thinking he get hyped up a little bit. I mean, most would agree that we'd prefe seeing the the stuff he does in Toulon.
Still, glad to hear he's humble enough to admit he had always had guys to carry him through. What a top bloke

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vinniechan October 28, 2009 12:25 pm

Actually, the injuries could well be a blessing in disguise, seeing England has had very little incentive to play young tight 5 (2nd row in particular, given the form of Shaw and a lesser extent Kay)

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sa fan October 28, 2009 12:25 pm

i just came a lil after watchn that vid.. that guy is my hero :)

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ikcy October 28, 2009 12:49 pm

Why is everyone rating Guildford? because he scored a few tries in a poor quality nz competition?

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cigarret October 28, 2009 1:45 pm

thank god jonny is back... since he left, england needed a decent fly-half...
go wilko!!

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Anonymous October 28, 2009 6:46 pm

Planetrugby had the poll of the best pro 15, carter got 10?! Wilkinson in his pomp was light years ahead of him, And thats coming from a proud kiwi!

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Alexander October 28, 2009 9:54 pm

L.O.L. to fucking anonymous. Need to chill out mate!

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Anonymous October 29, 2009 12:31 pm

Wilkinson is the best option at 10 for England by far. Who else are you going to put there, fat knacker Goode, Cipriani?. people are calling for Lamb, but he's been playing well behind a great pack, as we saw last season he loses his cool behind a weaker one. Give the guy a few years and then he'll be up for it.

I think it's going to be a long month for the home nations....

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RD October 29, 2009 2:09 pm

@ FuckingAnonymous - Follow the guidelines, or don't comment. If you have a problem with that, email me and we'll gladly discuss it.

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thedannyclayton October 30, 2009 9:47 am

Can anyone put together a compilation of all his hits? We have all seen the Ntamac (sp?) and Humphreys tackle but I remember him smashing Mortlock as well and there are plenty down the years...If anyone has the skills or time i'd be very keen to watch it :)

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Anonymous October 30, 2009 11:34 pm

still a coward for not saying a farwell to a falcons team that made one of the best fly halfs ever

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