8 Insane Jonny Wilkinson Stats No One Talks About

Danny CoyleFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2014

8 Insane Jonny Wilkinson Stats No One Talks About

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    Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

    Jonny Wilkinson is likely to play his last game of competitive rugby in this season’s Heineken Cup final, in which Toulon take on Saracens.

    The 2003 World Cup winner has done it all bar feature in a victorious Lions tour in an international career that began 16 years ago.

    He has smashed world records, collected personal and team trophies and pushed his body through a catalogue of injuries that lesser players would have yielded to years ago.

    The list of achievements is a lengthy one, as are the statistics that illustrate what a career it has been.

    Here are a few you might not have so readily at your fingertips.

1. 36 Drop Goals

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    Wilkinson has knocked over 36 international drop goals, which makes him the most prolific drop-goal kicker in the Test game’s history.

    None of them were as important as the right-footed effort in 2003 that clinched the Rugby World Cup for England in extra time in Sydney. 

2. 17 Goals in Heineken Knockout Stages

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    As Toulon surged toward their first Heineken Cup victory last season, their fly-half had 17 attempts to put the ball between the posts during the knockout stages of the competition.

    He was successful with—you guessed it—all 17 of them. His masterclass in Toulon's semi-final win over Saracens was capped by this outrageous drop goal under extreme pressure from Owen Farrell.

    Pressure player. 

3. 137km

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    Wilkinson’s sponsor, Gilette, put together a statistical montage for the great man at the end of last season.

    They came up with the total distance he had kicked the ball in his career, which they measured at 137 kilometres—enough to put the ball into orbit. 

4. 977,814.7m Travelled

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    In the same video, Gillette (or someone spending an internship there, with very little else to do) also came up with the total distance travelled by Wilkinson during his career, which they clocked at 977,814.7 metres. 

5. Points Scored in Two World Cup Finals

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Wilkinson is the only player to have scored points in two World Cup finals.

    Indeed, England and Australia are the only sides in World Cup history to have played in two consecutive World Cup finals—England in 2003 and 2007 and the Aussies in 1999 and 2003.

    In 2003, he scored 17 of England’s 20 points. In 2007, he knocked both penalties over in their 15-6 defeat to South Africa. 

6. 35 Points Scored in One Test

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    The most points Wilkinson ever scored in a single Test was 35.

    This haul came against Italy in 2001 courtesy of a try, nine conversions and a penalty. 

7. Three Tests in Which He Has the Full House

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    Wilkinson has completed the full set of try, conversion, penalty and drop goal in three internationals.

    He did it against Wales in 2002, scoring one try, five conversions, four penalties and a drop goal. He then did it against New Zealand in the same year with one try, two conversions, three penalties and a drop goal. The most recent occasion, against Scotland in 2007, saw one try, two conversions, five penalties and a drop goal.

    The game against New Zealand stands out as his best performance in an England shirt. We saw a more expansive style from the fly-half, standing flat, unleashing backs, looking for gaps and backing it all up with the world's most reliable left foot. 

8. Five No-Pointers

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    Wilkinson takes to the field for England's 76-0 thrashing in 1998
    Wilkinson takes to the field for England's 76-0 thrashing in 1998David Rogers/Getty Images

    Wilkinson has only played in five internationals in which he has not scored a single point. He got on the scoreboard in the other 92 of his Test caps.

    The first of those no-pointers came early in his career, during the ill-fated "Tour of Hell" in 1998.

    An experimental England team went down 76-0 to Australia in Brisbane. Wilkinson and Phil Vickery were the only men to survive the disaster and feature in the 2003 World Cup final.