Jonny Wilkinson’s list of the most talented rugby players ever would walk into nearly any team from any generation of rugby when naming his dream team.
In some ways, you could argue Wilkinson has been the epitome of the professional era. He has set new standards in terms of dedication and an almost obsessive pursuit of perfection.
In fact, only Dan Carter has scored more in Test rugby, with Wilkinson having garnered 1,246 during his 97 caps for England and the Lions. His finest hour, of course, came in 2003, when he slotted the drop goal that won the World Cup.
The fact he landed it with his weaker right foot speaks volumes for his hours and hours of diligent practice. Bowed out on a high, earning two more trophies with Toulon.
DID YOU KNOW? 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
5. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
WILKINSON SAID: “One of the most recognisable characters in World Rugby and a man who sparked fear in the eyes of opposition defences. The guy is quite a remarkable rugby legend and deserves to be so. No list would be complete without him.”
DID YOU KNOW? Lomu scored seven tries during the 1995 World Cup and added a further eight in 1999