No guarantees for Wilkinson

England's senior players have been warned that past glories will count for nothing when it comes to picking the side to tackle New Zealand on November 5 - and that includes Jonny Wilkinson. [more]

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England’s senior players have been warned that past glories will count for nothing when it comes to picking the side to tackle New Zealand on November 5 – and that includes Jonny Wilkinson.

Rob Andrew, England’s new director of elite rugby, laid down the law while claiming there is room for improvement.

"A lot of senior England players are either coming back from injury or perhaps in the last 18 months have not shown the form we know they are capable of," he said.

"Now the ball is in their court to deliver in the next six or seven weeks the form you would expect to have to produce if you want to get picked to play for England.

"They cannot rely on something they did 18 months ago to get into an England team today.

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"With the current selection group that will not happen."

Andrew added: "There are too many people who have played for England over the last three years, some of whom haven’t been good enough.

"The whole structure is about making sure that when a player gets to the elite squad, particularly the sharp end of it, we are in no doubts that player is good enough to play for England and the pressure cooker that playing for England is all about.

"There have been too many on that list who haven’t passed all the tests on the way through and we have to re-address that.

"The long term process is about making sure we constantly have a stream of players in every position who can play for England when called upon."

England have fallen some distance behind the world’s leading nations since winning the Webb Ellis trophy in 2003.

They have lost their last five Tests and finished fourth in the last two RBS 6 Nations championships.

Head coach Andy Robinson is now under huge pressure to deliver and, with just 12 months until the World Cup, Andrew has demanded immediate action.

"We have got to make sure that by the end of the Six Nations everyone can see there has been a change in gear," he said.

"We have to have a head of steam by the end of the Six Nations to have any chance at the World Cup."

"A change of direction is needed and it’s needed pretty quickly."

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