Campese closes the door on Wilko

Date published: November 29 2008

David Campese believes Jonny Wilkinson's career at the highest level is over.

Australia legend David Campese believes Jonny Wilkinson's career at the highest level is over.

The World Cup-winning fly-half has missed all of England's ill-fated autumn Test series with a dislocated knee that will also keep him out of contention for the Six Nations in the new year.

Wilkinson's career has been wrecked by a succession of fitness problems ever since his last-gasp drop goal won the Webb-Ellis trophy for Sir Clive Woodward's team in 2003.

The Falcons number ten recently admitted that a return to the England team was no longer a high priority, and former Wallabies wing Campese told talkSPORT: “Jonny Wilkinson is finished.”

Danny Cipriani has failed to convince as Wilkinson's successor in recent heavy defeats to Australia and South Africa at Twickenham, and Leicester's Toby Flood will get his chance to stake a claim against New Zealand on Saturday afternoon.

But whoever emerges as the long-term owner of the fly-half's jersey, Campese insists they will only be harmed by comparisons to Wilkinson, who was once considered the world's best player.

“You've got to get another number ten and treat him as he wants to play,” he added.

“Don't try to turn him into a Jonny Wilkinson because you cannot do that.

“He's not Jonny, Jonny's not playing, let the poor guy go out there. He's got his unique way of playing and he's got a different way of doing things, so let him do that and don't keep comparing him to Jonny Wilkinson every time the poor guy goes out and plays.”