Wilkinson insists there are better contenders

Jonny Wilkinson would answer a Lions call - but he insists he should not be on the plane Down Under. [more]

Wilkinson insists there are better contenders

Jonny Wilkinson would answer a Lions call – but he insists he should not be on the plane Down Under.

The former England fly-half was in imperious form with the boot on Sunday as he kicked Toulon into the Heineken Cup semi-finals for the first time.

Wilkinson fired over 21-points to break Leicester Tigers’ hearts at Stade Felix Mayol in a performance that would have caught the attention of Warren Gatland.

But the World Cup winner insists there are far more worthy candidates for a place in Gatland’s squad to tour Australia this summer.

“Of course I would be happy to get a call from Warren, but it's now about young guys, who are playing test matches, taking the game forward,” said Wilkinson.

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“If I answer the question it gives the wrong message. I'm like the guy in the armchair, wishing I could be on the Lions tour.

“But there’s no need for me to be there with these guys around. I have nothing but respect for Gatland and I hope they have a magical tour.”

Jonny Sexton, Owen Farrell and Dan Biggar are the leading candidates to pull on the number 10 jersey, with Gatland indicating he will take just two fly-halves to Australia

Wilkinson out-fired another tour contender in Leicester’s Toby Flood in the Cote d’Azur club’s historic win and he will face Farrell and Saracens in the semi-finals at the end of the month.

Another performance of Sunday’s ilk in the Heineken Cup would certainly give Gatland further food for though ahead of the squad announcement on April 29.

Wilkinson is relishing his return to Twickenham and is looking forward to going head-to-head with Farrell, who he sees as the future of English rugby.

“It is going to be a big occasion and we are on their [Saracens’] turf a bit over there. We know that it’s a hell of an ask, but you’ve got to give yourself a chance and work and work and build up to it.

“There isn’t a simple way because at this stage you play the best teams. Saracens have done brilliantly and they’re having a great season.

“Owen's a great player, with a lot of talent. He's someone who has a job to do in the future, to lead his country and take rugby in England in the direction it needs to go.

“With Floody out there doing the same thing, there are guys to take the game forward. England are in a good position, a good place.

“I'm really excited about what they can do. I'm an England fan right down to the bone and I'd love to see where these guys can take it.”

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