QUICKFIRE: Rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson on spiritual inspiration, unconditional love and money well spent


Guilty pleasure? In the past, I was guilty of overdoing things physically when I should have been resting and relaxing. I’ve learnt that lesson now.

Where is home? A modern detached house in Berkshire, not far from Windsor Great Park.

Career plan B? Perhaps coaching or teaching, something involving sport and working with people.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was a fan growing up and I would love it to be him.

Biggest bugbear? Nothing – at one time, I probably would have said loads of things, but now if I’m frustrated by something I feel it’s me who has the problem.

As a child you wanted to be… I was always massively into sport, but when I was very young, I was attracted to the army.

Earliest memory? Playing rugby or watching from the sidelines. I remember passing a ball with my dad when I was about three.

Secret to a happy relationship? Unconditional respect and love. Always look at yourself first rather than try to change your partner.

Your best quality? I have a great deal more acceptance and compassion than I once had.

And your worst? I have always been considered obsessive, but it can be an incredibly useful quality if you don’t let it take over.

Last meal on earth? Anything with lots of fresh raw vegetables.

Dream dinner-party guests? Like many people, I would love the Buddha and Jesus, but also spiritual people from India and the UK who I find inspiring.

Cat or dog? I had both growing up, but I don’t think that I would be happy keeping an animal now.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Potential.

Starstruck moment? Meeting the Indian yogi Sadhguru. Big break? Ultimately, it was being born into my family.

Career highlight? If I had to choose something from my rugby days, it would be playing alongside my brother Mark for the Newcastle Falcons.

Favourite tipple? Kombucha, which my wife and I started making at home a few years ago. Now we have launched No1 Kombucha so that others can share our experience.

What did you have for breakfast today? Three juices, homemade porridge with walnuts, blueberries and raisins, and a couple of eggs.

One thing that would make your life better? Nothing. If there’s one thing that could make my life better, it’s up to me.

Philosophy? You are where you are supposed to be, but the future is yours to choose.

Biggest lesson you have learnt about money? It’s important for physical survival and comfort, but it has nothing to do with joy and happiness or people’s worth.

First record you bought? It was either a Shakin’ Stevens LP or one by Fine Young Cannibals.

Most extravagant purchase? A five-week trip to Thailand where my wife was doing a yoga teacher-training course. I would rather spend money on experiences than things.

Happiness is… If you are willing to dig deep enough, you will find that peaceful happiness is our natural state.

Jonny’s No1 Kombucha, a range of sparkling soft drinks, is available in three varieties exclusively at Sainsbury’s. Visit no1kombucha.com

Interview by John Koski