Wilkinson ponders Lions swansong
June 21, 2012
Jonny Wilkinson slots a penalty while on tour with the Lions back in 2001 © Getty Images
Jonny Wilkinson has not ruled out the possibility of playing for the British & Irish Lions on their tour of Australia in 2013 but admits that the players turning out for the home nations are in pole position for seats on the plane.
Wilkinson has five Lions caps to his name and played against the Wallabies back in 2001 when the Lions fell to a 2-1 series loss. He started all three Tests and finished with 31 points over the course of the matches. Wilkinson called time on his international career back in December but has since continued to excel on the rugby stage for Toulon in the Top 14.
He helped guide them a maiden Top 14 final and also helped them on their way to the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup. But with the likes of Jonny Sexton, Rhys Priestland and Toby Flood all turning out for their country on the international stage, Wilkinson believes they are the type of individuals who will be favourites for a spot on the tour - with the first Test a year today.
"I'm in a position where I'm trying to get better every day and there are a lot of guys out there who really demand that respect and they deserve to be experiencing tours like that," Wilkinson told ESPN. "I'm not saying yes or no (to whether he'd be interested in turning out for the Lions), I'm just saying that I'm excited about playing rugby.
"If you look at how well the home nations are doing now and how well the players are playing week in week out for their club then they are the guys taking rugby forward right now."
To see Jonny Wilkinson paying tribute to club coach Vernon Neve-Dunn as a part of Gillette's Great Start Campaign visit facebook.com/GilletteUK
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The real problem rugby faces is the concussion tests in place can be manipulated by the players." Part two of Rory Lamont on concussion. Part one is here
"The Lions is a meritocracy, pure and simple." The Crooked Feed gives its view on Gatland's call for a Lions quota system
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with a topless Carlin Isles and scantily clad Waratahs players featuring
"There is a duty to ensure that every person who decides to participate in rugby has an understanding of the possible lasting effects of concussion." Rory Lamont tells his story