Rugby - Wilkinson plays down Lions talk

Jonny Wilkinson distanced himself from demands for his selection by the British & Irish Lions after masterminding Toulon's passage into their first Heineken Cup final with a 24-12 victory over Saracens.

PA Sport
Rugby - Wilkinson plays down Lions talk
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Jonny Wilkinson, pictured, looks set to miss out on the Lions

Man of the match Wilkinson, making probably his final appearance at Twickenham, kicked seven penalties and a late drop-goal to set up an all-French decider against Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium on May 18.

Wilkinson said: "The Lions is difficult for me because it's not at all that I wouldn't consider it - it would be fabulous. It's up there with the most amazing experiences you can get in rugby. But I watch guys like Owen Farrell, Toby Flood, Dan Biggar and Jonathan Sexton and it is them who are driving rugby forward. Perhaps they should be the ones driving this tour forward as well."

He added: "I'm prone to feeling great after a day like today but after a match like last weekend's I felt as though I'd let the boys down. I think about tearing up my contract for next year and things like that. It's what goes through my head. I just play and play and no-one can tell you if you're doing great or not. Am I doing enough right now?

Wilkinson schooled opposite number Farrell in a match that saw England's fly-halves past and present meet for the first time. One telling moment arrived in the 74th minute when Wilkinson managed to stab over an important drop-goal with his left foot as Farrell, who is 12 years his junior, clattered into him.

England's World Cup-winning 10 then patted Farrell on the back and the two shared words as a disjointed match dominated by the set-piece neared its conclusion.

"When Owen tackled me, he said 'I didn't go through' and I said 'I'm really sorry, I didn't deserve that, it was down to luck'. He played brilliantly and didn't deserve that," he said.

It was Wilkinson's 46th appearance at Twickenham - 42 of them were for England - and almost certainly his last, but the two-time Lions tourist was eager to deflect attention from himself.

"This is a very special moment. It's quite special to be at Twickenham with the team and their willingness to win," he said. "It's a privilege to come back here as captain of this team. Today I had the privilege to lead the team and to do that at Twickenham was superb.

"But I'm beginning to hate the positive things said about me, because it is the team who tackle and play for the 80 minutes. Yes I kick a penalty here and there and a drop-goal, but this is a fantastic team."

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