Lion is still a legend say Wallabies

Double Lions tourist Jonny Wilkinson is still a key figure in international rugby according to two of Australia's brightest stars. [more]

Jonny Wilkinson

Double Lions tourist Jonny Wilkinson is still a key figure in international rugby according to two of Australia’s brightest stars.

Wilkinson was a Test Lion in 2001 and 2005 but missed out on selection last summer after yet another injury-blighted season.

The former Newcastle fly-half currently seems to be second-choice for England behind ex-clubmate Toby Flood but Wallaby half-backs Will Genia and Quade Cooper still believe Wilkinson has plenty to offer.

''Any side he plays in, they play better so I definitely still rate him up there as one of the best,'' said Genia, ahead of the first Test between England and the Wallabies this weekend.

''I watched a fair bit of him playing for Toulon and he directs the team around on the field really well with his passing and kicking game.''

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Those sentiments were echoed by fly-half/centre Quade Cooper, the man expected to start in the Wallabies No10 jersey on Saturday.

''I think every kid based a lot of their game around him,'' added Cooper, who could is on track to face the Lions when Britain and Ireland’s elite head Down Under in three years time.

Wilkinson missed England’s 28-28 draw with the Australian Barbarians earlier today as he continues to recover from rib damage but the 31-year-old is expected to be ready if called upon for Saturday’s Test.

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