So it's goodbye Jonny. English rugby is much the poorer for his departure but the time had come and the time was right.
The new coaching team of Stuart Lancaster, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell need to focus on the next World Cup in 2015 and finding the next Jonny Wilkinson. The search will not be easy. Wilkinson is a once-in-a-generation player.
He will forever be remembered for the drop goal - off his wrong foot - that brought England their first World Cup that famous November night in Sydney 2003. But he offered his country so much more than just a great kicking game.