The audacious campaign to lure Jonny Wilkinson out of retirement and play in the upcoming National Rugby Championship (NRC), as reported exclusively in Ruck’n Maul two weeks ago, appears to be gathering momentum. A visit by the England World Cup-winning pivot to Sydney in a few weeks is now anticipated. Ruck’nMaul has been told those close to Wilkinson continue to talk about a “huge offer to play park rugby for a couple of months”, which involves appearing for one of the New South Wales-based NRC team from late August.


This NRC team has the backing of several successful businessmen, including one willing to pay an exorbitant six-figure sum to entice Wilkinson. Let’s just say it would be by far the biggest per-match payment any rugby player involved in any Australian game would have ever agreed to. Test players would dream of the money on offer. Hence, according to a well-placed NRC snout, an “under-the-radar visit to Sydney where Jonny and a close colleague will stay with a mate”. The “close colleague” is apparently another well-known figure from England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph in Australia.


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