Fly-half for England Rugby Union


Jonny Wilkinson, a fly-half for England Rugby Union and one of the most famous players in international professional rugby, was catapulted to stardom when his drop goal during extra time won England the World Cup in 2003. Wilkinson made his debut in 1998, joining the Newcastle Falcons (his local club) and England Rugby Union. On the field he has a reputation for accurate kicking and fierce tackling; off the field he has a reputation for practising incessantly and avoiding publicity. After his dramatic role in the 2003 World Cup victory, Wilkinson became a national hero in England, was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and awarded the Order of the British Empire and was named captain of England's team.

Setting yourself challenges and goals in life, particularly when life is not treating you well, is a positive reaction to what are more often than not, very negative circumstances.

I am lucky enough to lead a very happy and privileged life through the love and support of my friends and family. However, in the world of life and rugby I have some very clear and definite principles. I firmly believe that you only get out of life what you put into it and striving to improve your circumstances and achieve your goals gives so much more satisfaction than sitting back and letting life pass you by. One day you may live to regret it.

I have some sayings which I look to when things do not seem to be going so well either on the rugby pitch or off it and which Damian has captured the essence of in this excellent book. Some of these are:

'Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice.' (William Jennings Byran)

'A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.' (Anon)

'I play the odds - the harder I work, the more likely I am to succeed.'

'Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.' (Joshua J Marine)

'I can't always succeed but I can always deserve to.'

Clearly you are lucky enough to have some very kind, caring and hard working people around you and I wish them, and especially you readers, the very best of luck in the future.

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