Jonny Wilkinson hints he'll play one more year
December 16, 2013
Could Jonny Wilkinson play on for another year? © Getty Images
Jonny Wilkinson could yet play another season of professional rugby and insists no decision has been made over whether he will retire at the end of this campaign.
Wilkinson previously suggested this season would be his last but he is showing no signs of slowing down after scoring for Toulon against Exeter on Saturday. Toulon have been heavily linked with Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Flood with owner Mourad Boudjellal saying on Friday he would need two players to replace Wilkinson, if he decided to hang up his boots. "Having to one day replace Jonny Wilkinson is the kind of thing that falls on you once in 100 years," Boudjellal said.
."I contemplate [continuing for another season] every match and every week," Wilkinson said. "I could give this all up in a second if I thought I was standing in the way of someone else or if I was halting the progress of this team. I love the idea of team sports and the spirit and how it works. When I see other guys playing brilliantly it makes it all worthwhile.
"You come and you bring everything with you that you have got. You don't come here to sponge off Toulon or sponge off the area or the climate. You come to add something to that environment and if you add something you get it all back.
"Someone like Leigh Halfpenny coming here would be amazing, but only if we see what is great about him. In club rugby it is all about the connection between the players."
Toulon coach Bernard Laporte also hopes Wilkinson holds off his retirement. "I want Jonny to play all the time - he's unique," hesaid. "But only Jonny is able to say whether he will play one more year. He's a professional guy, he's intelligent and we are not pressurising him. We'll wait."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton