| 15.5°C Dublin

Jonny turns heads in UCD practice sessions

DOG WALKERS and college students may have done a double take when passing through a well-known shortcut from Donnybrook to UCD in recent days with the sight of Jonny Wilkinson, alone, practising his kicking.

The former England fly-half and his Toulon team-mates used the Thornfield pitch on the fringe of the Belfield campus for training as they prepared for Friday night's Top 14 semi-final against Toulouse before flying to Nantes, where the game will be held, yesterday.

After training, Wilkinson stayed back and used the peaceful surrounds of the UCD back pitch to hone his kicking as the newly crowned European champions remained in Dublin for the first half of the week after their epic victory over Clermont on Saturday, using UCD's 50m pool for recovery and training on campus. UCD director of rugby Bobby Byrne (above) presented Wilkinson with a College jersey before departure as he headed off in search of a European and domestic double.

Irish Independent