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."
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament