Wilko harbours Lions dreams

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:23
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Jonny Wilkinson said it would be hard to turn down one Final chance to take on the Wallabies were he to be selected for the B&I Lions tour of Australia.

England great Jonny Wilkinson has said it would be hard to turn down one Final chance to take on the Wallabies were he to be selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.

Flyhalf Wilkinson landed the extra-time drop-goal that saw England defeat Australia in the 2003 World Cup Final in Sydney.

He retired from England duty two years ago but such has been his form for Toulon - the 33-year-old Wilkinson will captain the French club against Saracens in a European Cup semi-final at Twickenham on Sunday - there are those who believe he warrants selection for the Lions.

Wilkinson said Friday he'd be unlikely to turn down the chance of a third tour with the combined side, following losing series against Australia (2001) and New Zealand (2005), were he to be included in a squad due to be named by coach Warren Gatland on Tuesday

"Probably not, no," Wilkinson told reporters at Twickenham.

"I'm a rugby fan through and through so this sort of time is amazing. I remember four years ago I was on holiday watching the games. It's such a fabulous occasion.

"There's something very special about a group of guys coming from all over to take on something big over six weeks in mid-year.

"It's a hugely exciting time."

However, club commitments may scupper Wilkinson's Lions hopes.

Toulon are also in the semi-finals of the Top 14 and the Final of France's domestic competition takes place on June 1, the same day the Lions begin their tour with a match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

New Zealander Gatland had stated he would prefer the entire Lions squad to depart together on May 27.

AFP

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