Wilkinson to step into Lions den

Jonny Wilkinson says he will try and make himself available to the British & Irish Lions should they need him for the tour of Australia (Lions 4/6, Australia 5/4 – series winner).

The former England fly-half turned down the chance to be part of the original 37-man squad, admitting he would struggle to cope with the strain of a whole tour.

Instead, head coach Warren Gatland selected England’s Owen Farrell and Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton as he two number 10s but has kept the door open on calling Wilkinson up should the Lions have injury problems.

Wilkinson has been excellent for club side Toulon this season and was named European Player of the Year on Sunday , the day after he kicked the French team to Heineken Cup glory.

The 33-year-old could add the Top 14 title to an already impressive haul of accolades, with Toulon 11/4 to win the Grand Final ahead of this Friday’s semi-final against Toulouse.

With potentially two more high-intensity games to come before the end of Wilkinson’s season, the former Newcastle Falcons star has questioned whether he will be fit enough to join up with Lions given the condition of his body.

Wilkinson has previously hinted he may require an operation this summer but has now promised to make himself available to the Lions should either Farrell or Sexton pick up an injury.

“I’ve been asked if I’ll be an injury replacement. I’ve said ‘quite happily’,” said Wilkinson.

“I’m happy to give it all I’ve got. If I can physically front up to being there if there’s an injury then great.

“I can’t guarantee the state I’ll be in. The body is getting to the state where I am trying to stay [at this level].”

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