Wilkinson shrugs off criticism
February 23, 2010
Jonny Wilkinson has vowed to give his all against Ireland © Getty Images
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has shrugged off recent criticism and vowed to give his all against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.
Wilkinson carried the can for England's poor showing in their 17-12 victory over Italy but has retained his place in the starting XV, despite widespread calls for him to be dropped. Leicester's Toby Flood again makes do with a place on the replacements' bench, while Wilkinson will go head-to-head with Irish youngster Jonathan Sexton.
"You play for a team cause. If you took everything personally we'd all be quivering wrecks on the floor," he said. "You have to get on. You put everything into everything you do and that has to be enough. Give everything to every decision, every play to get the best result. You can't ask for any more.
"Everything traces back to the number 10 because the call stops there. It doesn't make for comfortable living all the time but the pressure I put myself under is more than enough, believe me."
Wilkinson admitted that he was dissatisfied with his form - but only as much as he has been throughout his illustrious Test career.
"I'm as unsatisfied as I've ever been [with my form]. In every game I've ever played I've never been satisfied," he said. "I'm at the same level of dissatisfaction as I've been throughout my entire career.
"I will probably resign in however many years probably the most unsatisfied man in the world but I'm happy to go that way because it keeps me driving. I don't mind coming off the field saying I could have done that better. Give me long enough and I'd find 100 things for you.
"It seems to be about me with what's going on in the paper but it's not. It's about can we go forward and have a big performance at the weekend."
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton