On the eve of the Six Nations tournament, Jonathan has been interviewed by Tom Cary, Senior Sports Correspondent for the Telegraph on his journey from playing for England to becoming a leading knee surgeon specialising in robotic knee replacements.
It is exactly 30 years since England’s glorious 1991 Grand Slam win, with Webb scoring 63 points and finishing as the tournament’s top scorer. But Jonathan reflects on how he nearly missed this opportunity as he’d almost retired three years earlier, trying to balance his medical career with the game.
“Everyone had dropped me. Bristol had dropped me. England had dropped me. Meanwhile, I was working my bollocks off as a trainee doctor but struggling on both fronts. I had failed an exam which I had to retake… it was all getting too much so I handed in my notice at Bristol.”
He was convinced by Bath coach Jack Rowell to continue and “then it was almost like a resurrection in the second half of my career”.
Rugby continues to occupy a large part of his life, both in a professional capacity – Bristol’s Semi Radradra was a recent patient – and through Jonathan’s involvement in the game’s governing body. Last year he was elected to World Rugby’s Executive Committee and he takes a special interest in player welfare.