Many people regard footwork as the key part of rugby, but for Jonny Wilkinson, hands are the most important part of play.
“Hands are massively important in rugby, it’s not just a question of manipulating the ball, my hands play a vital role in communication on the pitch. The noise on the pitch during play is deafening, and even at ten metres away I can’t hear my fellow players, so I rely a lot on my hands to communicate intent on the field.”
They’ve had more than their fair share of knocks, with dislocated fingers and torn ligaments, more often than not caused by twisting them in tackles or by being stamped on. His legendary clasped hands gesture that he adopted pre-kick was developed as a method of finding an inner quiet and focus amidst the maelstrom of on-pitch pressure and distraction.
“The roar of the crowd is so great you can hardly hear yourself think”,
His now famous pre-kick hands clasped gesture, developed over the years, helps him go to a place where he can drown out the mayhem and clear his mind. His hands become ‘the still point of the turning world’, so that all his energy and concentration can be directed into that one moment.
The book A Show Of Hands is available here, and Limited Edition Prints are available from the Buy A Print button below.