England World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson insists his best years are still ahead of him despite his continuing injury problems.
Wilkinson has suffered an horrendous catalogue of injuries over the past two years and has not played for his country since winning the World Cup in November 2003.
The 26-year-old Newcastle fly-half is currently troubled by an adductor muscle problem and his future has been questioned but Wilkinson insists he will not only return but get better.
Wilkinson told Rugby World: "I don’t blame people for writing me off. I can see their point of view. But if people are saying I’m finished I’m going to prove them wrong.
"Yes, of course the plan is to get back in the England team, play in future World Cups, Lions tours and everything else.
"And I really believe, no, I really know that there is so much more of a player inside me waiting to come out that the world of rugby hasn’t seen yet.
"People were very kind to me a few years ago when I played for England, but I knew, deep down, that I wasn’t even close to my optimum.
"I hope to rectify that on my return. There’s no question I’ll be back, even better than before."