Jonny Wilkinson's future at Newcastle could be in doubt after the departure of close friend and mentor Steve Black.
The England fly-half has lamented the departure of the Falcons fitness coach, who he credits with helping him on the road to stardom, and Black’s departure by mutual consent has raised questions about Wilkinson’s future at Kingston Park, with his contract due to expire next summer.
Wilkinson told The Times: “There is simply no-one I am closer to in the world of professional sport.
“Of course, I will stay close to him. He is a part of my life which simply can’t be removed like a piece of a jigsaw. It is way beyond that.
“He is the piece that is glued in place. We have a future invested in each other and loads of different directions to go together in the rest of our lives. For me at my age, it is exciting to think that.”
Black told The Guardian: “Jonny is my pal and I will always be there for him.
“My leaving Newcastle will not change that. Nothing I will do in the future will affect our relationship. I will stay in the sport having been involved in it all my life but it is too early to say yet what I will be doing.”