Wilkinson still eyeing Lions berth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wilkinson still eyeing Lions berth

16/01/2009 07:36:04 AM Comments (0)

Injury-plagued England star Jonny Wilkinson has not given up on being included in the British and Irish Lions squad for their tour of South Africa.

Wilkinson, whose drop-goal in the closing moments of extra-time steered England past Australia in the 2003 World Cup final, is currently sidelined with a knee injury.

The 29-year-old, who won the last of his 70 England caps against Ireland in March last year, was left out of Martin Johnson's Six Nations squad on Wednesday.

He admitted he had no chance of being fit in time for England's tournament opener against Italy on February 7, when Danny Cipriani and Toby Flood will compete for the No.10 shirt.

But he would not rule himself out of the rest of the championship and, with the Lions not due in South Africa until May, Wilkinson believes there is time for him to play himself back into Test selection with club side Newcastle.

Asked if he would play international rugby again, Wilkinson - England's record points scorer - told Sky Sports on Thursday: "Yes, definitely.

"I think I've been misunderstood a little before," added Wilkinson, whose career has been blighted by a succession of injuries since 2003.

"What I've said when I've been asked is that ahead of those representative honours, I'm just trying to make the most of my personal ability.

"I say instead of asking 'what do I need to do to get back into the England side?', 'what do I need to do to be my best?'.

"I come back from the specialist the day before (England's February 7 opener). There's stuff to do but I'll not be too far off then.

"When I come back from this injury I hope to be very active, then it's about getting match fit - the onus is then on you and I enjoy that responsibility."

Turning to his Lions prospects, Wilkinson - who has won six Test caps in all with the combined England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales team, added: "I couldn't think of anything better, my whole life has been about getting the best out of myself.

"Time is maybe a little short but I'll enjoy that challenge and the journey towards the Lions tour.

"If I get there, great, if it doesn't (happen) I'll get the next one."

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