Owen Farrell must start for Lions in Australia, says Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson says England's Owen Farrell is the man who should start at fly half for the British and Irish Lions this summer

England’s Owen Farrell is the man who should start at fly half for the British and Irish Lions this summer, according to the man who used to be the first name on the team sheet.

2003 World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson rolled back the years on Sunday kicking six penalties and a last-gasp drop goal as Toulon edged out Leicester Tigers 21-15 in the Heineken Cup quarter final.

The 33-year-old’s master class has led to many pundits and fans clamouring for Wilkinson to add to his six Lions caps and 67 points during this summer’s tour to Australia.

But despite his form, Wilkinson believes his time has been and gone and it is the likes of Saracens’ Farrell – England’s first choice No10 for this year’s Six Nations – who should be given his chance.

“If I answer the question [of Lions selection] 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,” said Wilkinson, who will face off against Farrell in the Heineken Cup semi final at Twickenham on April 28.

“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 Floody doing the same thing, there are guys like that to take the game forward. England are in a good position, a good place.

“I’m really excited about what they can do. I’m an England fan right down to the bone and I’d love to see where these guys can take it. It’s exciting for me as well.”

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