Robinson rules out Wilkinson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Robinson rules out Wilkinson

By Andrew Baldock 20/11/2004 06:17:54 AM Comments (0)

England rugby coach Andy Robinson has ruled out World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson from next week's Twickenham Test against Australia.

Injury has prevented five-eighth Wilkinson from playing international rugby since his extra-time drop-goal secured England's World Cup final win against the Wallabies in November last year.

Initially neck and shoulder problems sidelined Wilkinson but a bicep injury has kept him from leading England in its autumn campaign, with the team next facing South Africa.

England coach Andy Robinson has voiced concerns about the sheer number of injuries being suffered by players at present.

England prop Phil Vickery is the latest high-profile victim. Having only recently returned to action following six months out recovering from back surgery, he now faces six weeks' on the sidelines with a 'blow-out' fracture around his eye.

Robinson said: "Jonny won't be fit for the Australia game, but he has been down with us and is making good progress."

As for 43 times-capped Vickery, Robinson added: "It (the injury) won't affect his weights work or his running, so he will be able to maintain his fitness, but it is a big blow for Phil and for Gloucester.

"But then, there has been a number of injuries around the country recently. It is quite phenomenal.

"I think it means we need to look at the off-season and the number of games played.

"This is also something that the PRA (Professional Rugby Players' Association) need to get involved in, as players' welfare is their priority. I just feel the number of injuries at the moment is frightening."

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