Forget the lacerated kidney, this moment from a family holiday has us wincing

We’ve seen a rough Jonny Wilkinson injury or two down the years. Heck, this is the bloke who lacerated a kidney. His shoulders will be feeling the effect of all-in defence down the years.

But there is one injury from the Rugby World Cup-winning fly-half’s post-playing days that may get you grimacing more than the others. And it took place in a trampoline park in Spain, during a family holiday. 

Talking to the brand new Kick Offs and Kick Ons podcast, he was asked about the mishap by former Toulon team-mate Drew Mitchell.

“I was in this trampoline park in 2021, and I’m still setting myself little challenges,” England great Wilkinson begins. “I’m like, ‘Jeez there’s a level there, can I jump on top of that?’ While my daughter’s probably like, ‘come on, do this’. I’m like, yeah, just wait there for a second, I just need to achieve this.

“My ankles was stiffening up. I could feel that on both sides. And it got to within about five minutes of leaving the park and they’ve got these little basketball things as well. So I’ve been on that for about 20 minutes until I’ve got everything perfect there. 

“And then I’ve gone over and they’ve got that Ninja Warrior set-up. And it’s not set up in a way where you’ve got any clear run-ups – you have to run around some obstacles to have a go at this Ninja Warrior ramp. The big thing that you try and run halfway up the ramp and then catch on to the top and pull yourself. It’s a trampoline park so I’m in these grippy socks. 

“I’ve worked out a line in, and my wife says “We’ve got to go, our sessions up.” I’ve said, yeah yeah, just one more go – one more go was a bit of a mantra of mine when I was training. So I had a pop at it – literally. I got halfway up the ramp and let go and I have to get this… Because if I don’t the holiday will be ruined for everyone!
As I jumped I just got shorter. And it sounded like someone had slammed a really heavy door. I turned round to my wife and said, ‘Don’t throw balls at me when I’m doing this, it’s really dangerous.’ She was like, ‘I didn’t throw any basketball, I didn’t do anything.’

“I look down and the foot is flopping about a bit – it’s flapping and flopping. Immediately I knew I’d completely ruptured my Achilles. 

“I didn’t want to be the 40-plus (man) who’s done himself in, in the trampoline park, so I walked out of there with a ruptured Achilles.”

Enough to make you wince. but this retirement-era Jonny Wilkinson injury was sorted in double-quick time, the former Falcons and Toulon ten revealed. A few days later, he was recovering form surgery back in the UK.

Now one of the ITV Six Nations pundits, you’ll see Wilkinson analysing the England games throughout the tournament.

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