Jonny Wilkinson says no to spot in British and Irish Lions Squad
Last Updated: 01/05/13 9:30am
Gatland - Sam will lead by example
Warren Gatland has revealed that Jonny Wilkinson turned down a place in the British and Irish Lions squad.
Wilkinson's name wasn't in the 37-strong party to tour Australia but Lions coach Gatland said he had contacted the England fly-half to check on his availability.
Gatland said: "He wasn't available, not from the start of the tour.
"I rang him yesterday, just sort of to sound him out because I was really impressed with the way he played for Toulon against Saracens.
"We had a good conversation and he really appreciated the call. But he said he's committed to Toulon and his body's just holding together by his fingernails and he's managing himself week to week and we left it open."
However, Wilkinson could still feature in the squad for the 10-match, three-Test series, which kicks off in Hong Kong on June 1.
"Potentially, if there is an injury later in the tour, he said we can have that conversation later if it does pop up," said Gatland.
"Maybe he might be available but potentially he's not available later in the tour."
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