I’ll be ready for Wallabies clash, claims Wilkinson

ENGLAND fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has dismissed fears overs his fitness, insisting he will be fit and ready for the first Test against Australia a week on Saturday.

The 31-year-old record points scorer is yet to resume contact training after bruising his ribs during Toulon’s Amlin Challenge Cup final defeat to Cardiff last weekend.

It had been suggested that Wilkinson may be forced to sit out the tour, but although the legendary No10 accepts he will miss the first match against an Australian Barbarians XV on Tuesday, he insists he is on the road to recovery.

“Injury-wise I’m fine,” Wilkinson said. “In terms of the rest of it that is up to these guys. It’s nice to be here with easily enough time to get ready to be on the training field at the same time as everyone else. I took a knock in the back in our last game of the season. I’ve already had a week [without contact work] and I’m being held back by the physios rather than anything else at the moment. I want to get out there, but they are telling me to take a few more days.”

Team boss Martin Johnson added: “The build-up starts now in terms of World Cup preparation and it gives some guys opportunity to advance.”