Deans wary of in-form Wilkinson
November 3, 2009
Jonny Wilkinson is a cause for concern for Australia © Getty Images
Wilkinson is fit and firing for the first time since his last international cap in March 2008 after his summer move to French Top 14 side Toulon.
Deans believes that his return will have a positive impact on an England setup that has been de-stabilised by injury in recent weeks. For once, Wilkinson has not been a concern.
"I think probably the most critical element since the summer has been the introduction of Jonny because that has brought a lot more certainty around the English," Deans said. "I don't imagine he'll he have changed much as a player. We believe England will be more dangerous with Jonny there. He'll bring a lot of shape to their game.
"His influence on his peers will be valuable in terms of the confidence he'll bring to them. We expect to meet England at their best and know that Jonny will contribute to that."
Deans has named a side featuring nine internationals to face Gloucester in their opening tour game on Tuesday night and dismissed suggestions that Saturday's result would take a back-seat to planning for the future and the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
"The reality is you can only cater for the future by what you do now, and you can only cater for now by focusing on it," said Deans. "The suggestion is that we've left a lot of blokes behind when they could be here.
"The reality is Al Baxter is the only player who is fit who we've left behind. We don't think in terms of bottom lines. We want to win on Saturday. We are not thinking of anything beyond the weekend. We've haven't left anyone behind with the idea of using them in the future."
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