Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Lions boost for Wilkinson

09th September 2012 10:52


Jonny Wilkinson attacking for Lions in 2001

Was there in 2001: Jonny Wilkinson

2013 British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has revealed that Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson is available for the tour of Australia.

Wilkinson, who retired from international rugby last December after winning 91 England caps, has not been ruled out of a call-up by Gatland.

It was originally rumoured that Gatland might include the 33-year-old as a goal-kicking coach, but the Kiwi boss believes that if Wilkinson's form is up to scratch, he could make the playing squad.

"I might well think about it but he may also be available as a player. He's still a fine a player and only 33. That's not old," he was quoted on Sunday.

"For me, everyone is in contention. The slate is clean for every player who wants to be considered.

"No one is ruled out or pencilled in and if you are playing well enough then whoever it is - whether it is Jonny Wilkinson or whoever, it's all about how players are performing for their clubs or countries.

"We've selected players who have been playing well just for their club sides and have done well for the Lions. They don't have to be playing for their countries.

"What is important if they are not playing international rugby is that they have to be coming from a side that is performing particularly well."

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