Author Topic: Farewell Johnny & Shane  (Read 1593 times)


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Farewell Johnny & Shane
« on: December 13, 2011, 10:24:47 am »
In quick succession, two of Rugby's all-time greats have retired. Shane Williams scored more tries for Wales (58 from 87 caps, 2 tries for the Lions) than any other player and is third in the list of international try scorers. Wilkinson scored over 1200 points for England / British Lions combined, playing for England 91 times, including his famous World Cup Final winning dropped goal.

Sadly, Wilkinsons's career was blighted by injury which kept him out of the game for long periods and one wonders what might have been. Certainly, he would have become England's most capped player (Jason Leonard, with 114, holds the England record) and I'm pretty sure that at one time he held the record or the most points scored in the 6 nations. Williams, who was told as a boy that he was too small to play rugby, astonished many with his ability: I have to confess that when I first saw him I doubted that he had much of a career in a game in which players were getting bigger and stronger all the time. Shane is 5' 7" and about 12 stone in weight. I don't think he ever played against Jonah Lomu but that encounter would have been worth it for comedy value alone.

Williams was fortunate enough to be able to plan his retirement and end his career with yet another try, albeit in defeat, and an emotional interview in front of his home crowd. Wilkinson wasn't so lucky: his last few England performances saw a totally uncharacteristic loss of form and he looked like a man whose career was over. He announced his retirement last night.
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