Wilko is the benchmark, says Catt

Former England (10/3 Six Nations outright) utility back Mike Catt believes fly-halves will have to try to play up to the standards set by Jonny Wilkinson ahead of the Six Nations next year.

The world renowned No.10, who kicked the winning drop goal in the 2003 World Cup final, decided to call time on his international career on Monday after 91 appearances for his country.

Wilkinson’s decision to retire from the international stage has meant a host of fly-halves will be pushing for a starting role in February, as England look to defend their Six Nations crown.

The likes of Toby Flood, Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell will all be hoping to claim the No.10 jersey ahead of the tournament early next year.

Former team-mate Catt believes Wilkinson set the benchmark for stand-offs and other will have to live up to those expectations.

He said: “Jonny has set a series of records that all players will want to surpass.

“There are guys around who will try to reach the level that Jonny got to.

“Toby Flood will take on the mantle, with Owen Farrell and Charlie Hodgson beneath him.”

England will get their Six Nations title defence off and running when they make the tough trip to Murrayfield to take on old rivals Scotland (20/1 Six Nations outright) on February 4.

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