England lose Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson has been ruled out of next month's autumn internationals. [more]

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson has been ruled out of next month’s autumn internationals.

The World Cup winning fly-half has a shoulder injury and will be sidelined for four weeks.

That rules the double Lions tourist out of next Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks, plus the matches against Australia, Samoa and South Africa on successive weekends.

Wilkinson suffered the setback playing for his club side Toulon in the Top 14 last weekend and was being assessed by the England medical staff.

England team manager Martin Johnson today admitted that the 31-year-old will be unavailable for selection for all four November games having featured in every Test in the last 12 months.

"As I said on Wednesday, Jonny was being assessed day-by-day and we would have a better idea of where he was in terms of the injury by the end of this week,” said Johnson after a scan revealed Wilkinson will need treatment.

"It's clear that Jonny will need a period of rehab of around four weeks and this will be carried out in conjunction with Toulon."

Wilkinson’s injury means Toby Flood is now the clear favourite to wear the No10 shirt for England against New Zealand.

Johnson has called up 2005 Lion Charlie Hodgson as Wilkinson’s replacement.

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