Coaching beckons for Wilkinson

Date published: May 20 2014

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Retiring Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson sees his future lying in a tracksuit after hanging up his boots in two weeks time.

Retiring Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson sees his future lying in a tracksuit after hanging up his boots in two weeks time.

Wilkinson will bring the curtain down on a glittering career by playing in the Heineken Cup and Top 14 Finals with Toulon over the next fortnight.

The World Cup winner though has given some though towards the future and would relish the role of helping to coach players and develop their talents.

“I see so much potential around in so many players. I see so many making such huge sacrifices for their teams and really testing themselves,” said Wilkinson.

“If I can help make a difference – even if it's only a small percentage – then it all comes around. If you can give people the evidence that they deserve to be confident then it can add to performance.

“I would love to be able to do that. With England? Of course, that would be amazing. But at the same time, if I can work with just one person and have a positive effect, that's good enough to begin with.

“It's a real desire of mine, having played with so many people who have helped me in my career – guys like Mike Catt and Matt Giteau at Toulon.

“I just want to help others get better because I know what a difference it makes to a team. To carry on a team ethic from a coaching perspective would be great.”

Naturally, Wilkinson has been linked with a coaching role within the England setup in the long term, something with current head coach Stuart Lancaster refused to rule out on Monday.

“I wouldn't rule it out long term, whether it was working with age-grade teams or certain individuals,” said Lancaster.

“When you've got someone of his calibre and experience, with such a clear influence on so many people, I would certainly want him to feel part of the England team.

“I'm not sure what his desire is to do post-rugby, but I'd certainly want him to feel part of the England team.

“I'm sure in the right place, at the right time, we'll invite him into camp and he will be more than welcome to pass on some of that experience and knowledge to the current coaching team we've got – some of whom he knows pretty well anyway – or directly to senior players or age-grade players as well.

“It would be incredible what he could offer young and senior players. The decision will remain with him in the first instance, but I would like to make him feel welcome in the broad sense.”

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