Johnno backs Jonny

Lions legend Martin Johnson insists another high-profile tourist will play a big part in England's second Test against Australia. [more]

Jonny Wilkinson

Lions legend Martin Johnson insists another high-profile tourist will play a big part in England’s second Test against Australia.

Johnson believes 2001 and 2005 Lions Test starter Jonny Wilkinson will have a major impact on the Sydney encounter despite not making England’s first-choice XV.

Wilkinson, who started all three internationals for the Lions against the Wallabies nine years ago, has to settle for a place on the England bench after Toby Flood retained the No10 shirt following the 27-17 defeat in Perth.

But Johnson intends to use the World Cup winning hero at some point on Saturday, with Wilkinson’s calmness under pressure and vast experience set to play an important role at the ANZ Stadium.

"It's a 22-man game isn't it? All the guys came off the bench last week and they probably will this week," said England team manager Johnson.

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"We are lucky to have two guys. Toby (Flood) is getting some valuable experience down here.

"Jonny performs at a high level consistently when he plays, so we're going to have them both.

"I'm sure he will play a big part in the game."

England were well beaten when the two sides met last weekend, with the Wallabies dominant in all areas bar the scrum.

But Johnson believes that particular experience will aid his side as they look to level the series with a rare Test victory on Australian soil.

"You've got to come and play the best to improve and we had a chat in the week with the players about that," said Johnson, who has brought in youngsters Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes in place of scrum-half Danny Care and Lions lock Simon Shaw.

"Now you've seen what the standards are, you've got to set your sights there and above as a player to get into the England side.

"The fact that they played the game last week helps, they know what they are going into, the tempo.

"We've talked about these things after the match, the difference down here, in playing at the very highest level of tempo and intensity, so they know what they are going to face."

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