Jonny Wilkinson ruled out of England’s November tests
England manager Martin Johnson has confirmed that talismanic fly-half Jonny Wilkinson will miss the upcoming autumn internationals due to a shoulder injury.
Wilkinson, whose history of injury is well known, was favourite to wear the number ten jersey at Twickenham, but will undergo surgery to cure his latest setback.
Johnson said: “Jonny was being assessed day by day and we knew we would have a better idea of where he was in terms of the injury by the end of this week.
“It’s clear that Jonny will need a period of rehab of around four weeks and this will be carried out in conjunction with Toulon.”
Wilkinson’s absence leaves Johnson with a dilemma as to who will start at number ten.
All suggestions point to Leicester stand-off Toby Flood, but forgotten Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson looks likely to be part of an England Test squad for the first time since 2008 against New Zealand.
But it is not just at fly half where Johnson has concerns. Injuries to Riki Flutey means Shontayne Hape comes in to partner Mike Tindall, although Matt Banahan intends to stake a claim when he plays in the midfield for Bath against Harlequins.
Johnson has made his expectations clear, stating he wants two victories, which given the form of their four opponents is somewhat conservative.
What is certain however, is that England’s performances in the next four weeks will be key in looking ahead to the Six Nations and World Cup next year.