England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson has been enjoying life away from the game since his retirement in 2014 but now, Top 14 side Lyon are reportedly trying to coax the World Cup winner back on a short-term contract.
Retiring with a long list of accomplishments that include a World Cup winners medal, two Heineken Cups, four Six Nations titles, two English Premierships and two Top 14 titles, there is little the Englishman has not accomplished during his illustrious career.
Now, according to Midi Olympique, Lyon are looking to call on that experience in a bid to avoid a relegation battle in France’s top tier by recruiting the 37-year-old as a medical joker to cover for the injured Frédéric Michalak and Jacques-Louis Potgieter.
Despite reports that Lyon were set to offer Wilkinson a deal that would have made him one of the league’s top earners, the former Toulon out-half has ‘politely refused’ the offer.
Since his departure from the game, Wilkinson has kept a low profile, choosing a private life away from the media spotlight.
A return to the sport, even for six months was always likely to have been a long shot for Lyon. At 37 and with a long history of serious injury, the physicality of the modern game would almost certainly have come with a physical cost to the famous out-half.
The struggling French club must now turn their attentions elsewhere as they bid to survive in the Top 14.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
In this week’s edition of The Oval Office Podcast, we speak to the Pro12 Communications Director Adam Redmond, who outlines how the league will evolve in the coming seasons.