Wilko still in Lions wilderness

Mon, 20 May 2013 16:46
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B&I Lions head coach Warren Gatland insists he won't ask Jonny Wilkinson to join the forthcoming tour to Australia unless his squad is hit by injuries.

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland on Monday insisted he won't ask Jonny Wilkinson to join the forthcoming tour to Australia unless his squad is hit by injuries.

Wilkinson was crowned European Player of the Year on Sunday to cap a memorable weekend for the English star, who had kicked Toulon to victory over Clermont Auvergne in the Final of the European Cup just 24 hours earlier.

The 33-year-old was asked to tour by Gatland before the 37-man squad was announced on April 30, but Wilkinson rejected the opportunity due to his commitments at Toulon and deteriorating fitness.

While Gatland confirmed that Wilkinson remains an option if either Jonathan Sexton or Owen Farrell are injured, he insists the flyhalf's most recent heroics have failed to convince him another approach is necessary.

"We've been through the conversation that we had with Jonny and nothing's changed on that," Gatland said.

"If we picked up an injury on tour then maybe there's a conversation to be had.

"Jonny's a good player, but we've had the conversation about him."

Meanwhile, Gatland expects Leinster duo Brian O'Driscoll and Sean O'Brien to be on board Monday's flight to Hong Kong, where the tour opens against the Barbarians on June 1.

O'Driscoll should play in this weekend's Pro12 Final against Ulster after making progress in his recovery from the back spasm that ruled him out of Friday's victory over Stade Francais.

O'Brien played in the European Challenge Cup final against Stade, only to pick up a knee injury that will sideline him for two weeks.

"Sean has been looked at by the medics and hopefully he'll spend this week with us," said Gatland, who was speaking at the Lions' week-long training camp just outside Dublin.

"He has a bit of bone bruising, but it was more positive than first thought.

"Brian is hoping to be fit to play this weekend. He's on his feet again."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0