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Whatever happened to...James Wilson?

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Lynn McConnell     27 Feb 2018     Getty Images

The former Southland utility back who made 65 appearances for the side, playing key roles in their Ranfurly Shield successes between 2003-11, who played 18 games for the Highlanders in 2007-08 and one game for the Chiefs in 2009, popped up in England's Premiership at the weekend.

Now 34, Wilson left New Zealand for Bourgoin in France in the 2011-12 season, playing 17 games. Then he joined Northampton Saints and in five seasons played 95 games and scored 138 points.

He then joined up with the Todd Blackadder-coached Bath side this season and while fourth choice at first five-eighths for the club he kicked the club to a 33-32 win over Sale, including a last minute conversion to seal the win.

He landed conversions of each of Bath's three tries and added four penalty goals for good measure.

The win saw Bath secure fifth place on 45 points, one point behind Newcastle and 12 points behind leaders Exeter, and with a good chance of finishing in the top four.

The effort was enough for Blackadder to describe Wilson as 'the ultimate professional' after the game.

It turns out Wilson had only one full training session at first five-eighths, the Friday captain's run.

"I thought James Wilson was brilliant," Blackadder told the Bath Chronicle.

"It probably showed his experience. James wasn't overawed and he could go out there and do the job.

"He's a great goal-kicker and that was probably the difference today. He goes through his process and since he's turned up at the club he does his goal kicks twice a week.

"I'm just so rapt he took his opportunity and steered us home. James is the ultimate professional," he said.