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Recently voted the best player in the world of all time by the Channel, Jonny Wilkinson (43 years; 91 heads) is a living legend on the oval planet. Winner of four 6 Nations Tournaments (including a Grand Slam in 2013) and world champion in 2003 with XV de la Rose, he also lifted the European Cup twice (2013 and 2014) and the shield once by Brennus (2014) with Toulonwhose colors he wore from 2009 to 2014.
For British site Ruck.co, “Wilko” has agreed to reveal his three favorite stadiums, according to the mood and atmosphere that prevails there. Surprisingly, he doesn’t mention his former favorite grounds of Twickenham and Kingston Park (Newcastle’s stadium, his first club between 1997 and 2009), and chose a French venue, but not necessarily what you’d imagine…
3. Stade de France (Saint-Denis)
In third place of the stadiums where he played and “which produced the best atmosphere”, quotes Jonny Wilkinson… the Stade de France and its 81,338 seats. “It isn’t maybe it’s not the best located stadiumbut offers a magnificent view ” Says the former England No. 1 player.
“Their atmosphere can be a help and a brake for the blues. When France go forward, it can create a great atmosphere, but it can also inspire the opposition when they don’t,” adds Wilkinson, who has played many games at the Dionysian venue in the Rose XV shirt, then with Toulon, especially during the three French Rugby Championship finals he played with RCT. “Every time I’ve played there, the atmosphere was fantastic “, recalls “Wilko”.
2. Principality Stadium (Cardiff)
The second stadium that remains in the memory of Jonny Wilkinson is the Stadium of the Principality (formerly Millenium Stadium) in Cardiff, a historic home in Wales, which has a capacity of 73,9311 seats:
“The old Cardiff Arms Park was great (from 1881 to 1997, editor’s note) but everything about the Millennium Stadium – later renamed the Principality Stadium – is almost perfect, apart from some problems with the turf when the roof is in place for a long time. periods,” says the 91-cap England international. “I always thought Cardiff was an incredible stadium for the passion and knowledge of the Welsh fans. I also won a Heineken Cup (European Cup) there, which I will never forget (in 2014, against Saracens, Ed)”.
1. Australia Stadium (Sydney)
Finally, the prize for the best international stadium, according to Jonny Wilkinson, goes to the Stadium of Australia (formerly Telstra Stadium and ANZ Stadium), Sydney’s 84,000-seat stadium built for the 2000 Summer Olympics. A venue that hosts at least two rugby test matches each year and most importantly has the theater for 7 matches of the Rugby World Cup 2003won by Wilko’s England against the Wallabies.
“During this Rugby World Cup final, it is the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in in an England shirt, it was electric! “, trusts who had offered England a first world title that day by registering the victory fall in the last minute of extra time, in the final against Australia, and that is still the England’s points recordwith 1,179 units on its counter.
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