England football manager Gareth Southgate has likened striker Harry Kane to England rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson.
England beat Columbia to make it through to the quarterfinals of Football World Cup in Russia this week.
Southgate saw similarities between the way Kane handled himself under pressure and the England great. He believes Kane’s ‘mentality’ mimicked that of Wilkinson, who famously kicked England to glory at the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
“It was three-and-a-half minutes from the penalty being given to when Colombia eventually left him alone,” Southgate told reporters. “I knew he was fine when he picked the ball up for the fourth time. He reset himself… much like you see Jonny Wilkinson [do] – he has that mentality and calibre.”
Continue reading below…
Kane would have been just 10 years old when England won the oval ball version of the World Cup in 2003.
Ironically in March, Jonny Wilkinson and Harry Kane appeared in a BBC Sport’s Relief sketch in which former Toulon flyhalf taught Kane how to take a ‘proper penalty’.
Wilkinson also famously took part in an Adidas ad with David Beckham in which they gave each other tips on how to best handle each other’s balls.
Wilkinson was immediately better at football than Beckham, showing the then Manchester United midfielder up dreadfully.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.