Wilkinson ruled himself out of Lions

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:23
Large jonny wilkinson toulon dire Large jonny wilkinson toulon kick Large wilkinson fans

Jonny Wilkinson ruled himself out of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, coach Warren Gatland said after unveiling his squad on Tuesday.

Jonny Wilkinson ruled himself out of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, coach Warren Gatland said after unveiling his squad on Tuesday.

However, the New Zealander said flyhalf Wilkinson, who a decade ago kicked the match-winning drop-goal that saw England defeat Australia in a thrilling World Cup final in Sydney, could yet be called up as a replacement.

Wilkinson's masterly display in kicking all of Toulon's points in their 24-12 European Cup semifinal win over Saracens at Twickenham on Sunday led to renewed speculation as to whether he would be selected for a third Lions tour.

But Gatland named current England pivot Owen Farrell and Ireland's Jonathan Sexton as his two flyhalves - with Wilkinson having endorsed the duo immediately after his man-of-the-match effort for Toulon at Twickenham

"He (Wilkinson) wasn't available," Gatland told reporters. "He said he really appreciated the call but that he was committed to Toulon and would not be able to travel with the squad."

France's Top 14 final takes place on the same day as the Lions play the Barbarians in a tour opener in Hong Kong on June 1 and Wilkinson, whose Toulon club are already in the semifinals, could find himself required for the climax of the French domestic season.

Wilkinson's Toulon's team-mate Gethin Jenkins was included after being cleared by his club, for whom the Welsh prop is not a first choice player.

Gatland, asked if he had called Wilkinson to include him in his squad, replied: "I wouldn't have made the call otherwise. But we wanted the whole squad to be able to play in Hong Kong and he couldn't make that commitment."

Gatland also suggested Wilkinson himself had indicated he had doubts about his ability to last a Lions tour.

"He said he was struggling with his body and managing things week to week and I think he'd struggle to get through a seven-week tour."

But Gatland did say Wilkinson, who turns 34 next month, could yet be included as a possible injury replacement.

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 August 2016
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
Fri, 02 September 2016
Boland v Pumas 13h00 Wellington
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions 17h00 Pretoria
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 29 | 9
Fri, 26 August 2016
Pumas v Griquas 35 | 41
Golden Lions v Boland 60 | 12
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS