Surgery rules out Wikinson for B & I Lions tour

Jonny Wilkinson has effectively ruled himself out of the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia by having surgery on a groin problem.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland asked Wilkinson to join the Lions tour before his initial squad announcement but the former England star wanted to focus on his commitments with Toulon and was effectively on standby for the Lions.

Wilkinson toured with the Lions in 2001 and 2005 but missed the 2009 tour due to injury.

Whilst many expected Wilkinson to join the British and Irish Lions in Australia a small operation appears to have ended any chance that he will join the tour.

“I’ve just had a procedure on my groin, a little operation that will keep me out of action for a few weeks,” Wilkinson told ESPN.

“I’d got to a stage where I wasn’t able to train anymore and was going from game to game and suffering on the field because of that.”

Wilkinson kicked Toulon to victory in the Heineken Cup final against Clermont Auvergne earning them their first major trophy in 20 years.

Wilkinson kicked 17 out of 17 penalties in the quarters, semis and final but in last week’s Top 14 final he was off target on a couple of kicks and Castres won the title.

The 2003 Rugby World Cup winner says that after going under the knife if Gatland does make contact the chances of him joining the Lions are remote.

“We’ve also just finished a 48-week season and now I’m looking forward to the other four weeks and trying to rest up so I can do it all again next season.

“I’m now going to try and make sure I get back to some sense of fitness and I am far from 100% at the moment.

“If that situation did ever come about there would be a discussion to be had, and I would be very proud to be asked, but it is unlikely.”

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