Dan Carter has named his toughest opponents, England legend features - Page 4 of 4 - Ruck

Dan Carter has named his toughest opponents, England legend features

1. Jonny Wilkinson (England)

CARTER SAID: “Probably because I held him in such high regard and had a huge amount of respect for him, it was Jonny Wilkinson. He was an absolute student of the game,

“It was a wild, windy test match down in Wellington, I was on the bench and I hadn’t played a test match for the All Blacks, and he just took that game and, as a 10 that wants to control a game, I’ve never seen anything like it.

“I got the best seats in the house on the bench. Part of me was going, ‘Man, do I really want to get on here because he’s just completely dominating this game’.

“Thankfully I didn’t. I made my test debut the following week, which was a much better game to remember, but I just remember sitting there going, ‘If I ever do play 10’ – I was playing 12 a lot then – ‘this is how you need to control a game’.

“I had a huge amount of respect for him and playing against him.”

Jonny Wilkinson facts:

  1. Wilkinson’s brother, Mark, was also a Newcastle player who made 16 appearances in the Premiership for the side between 2002 and 2005, predominantly as a centre. His father, Phil, was a rugby player and cricketer, and his mother, Philippa, played squash at county level.  His grandfather, Phil, also played football for Norwich.
  2. When former England centre Jeremy Guscott walked into the dressing room on the day of Wilkinson’s international debut, he thought the 18-year-old had won a competition to spend the day with the national team.
  3. Wilkinson followed Buddhist principles and teachings to help control his perfectionist tendencies, according to an interview he gave with The Times newspaper in 2009.
  4. Jonny and Shelley became parents for the first time in late 2018. They keep their private life pretty much on lockdown, but according to reports, they had a little boy called James while they were still living in France.
  5. Wilkinson is currently a studio pundit for ITV Sport, working on their coverage of the Six Nations Championship, Rugby World Cup and other rugby events.