Former England star Jonny Wilkinson coy over British & Irish Lions call-up
Last Updated: April 9, 2013 11:30am
Wilkinson refused to confirm he is available for Lions selection
Ex-England star Jonny Wilkinson has poured cold water on the possibility of a British & Irish Lions call-up this summer.
The 33-year-old produced a vintage display for his club Toulon in Sunday's Heineken Cup quarter-final - his six penalties and a trademark drop goal sealing a 21-15 victory over Leicester in southern France.
With Irish fulcrum Jonathan Sexton currently battling injury, Dan Biggar relatively new to the Wales 10 shirt and England's Owen Farrell inexperienced at the highest level, many have made Wilkinson a dark horse to make the Lions tour to Australia.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland was at The Stoop earlier in the day, where another 33-year-old, Paul O'Connell, led Munster to the last four with a brutal 18-12 victory over Harlequins - but regarding his own potential inclusion, Wilkinson refused to fan the flames.
He said: "As I've said before, it's now about young guys taking the game forward, who are playing Test matches.
"If I answer the question it gives the wrong message. As far as I'm concerned, 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 him (Gatland, the Lions head coach) and I hope they have a magic tour."
On April 28, Gatland will have a chance to run the rule over both Farrell and Wilkinson when the two face off in Saracens' mouth-watering semi-final with Toulon - and the veteran had glowing words of praise for the 21-year-old wearing the Red Rose 10 shirt.
Wilkinson said of Farrell: "He'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 (Toby Flood) Floody out there today doing the same thing, there are guys like that to take the game forward. England are in a good position, a good place."
You can watch all 10 of the British and Irish Lions' matches during their tour to Australia live on Sky Sports.