Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Wilkinson back in the England frame again

World Cup winning duo Jonny Wilkinson and Steve Thompson were named in England's 32-man squad for the November internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand yesterday.

Flyhalf Wilkinson and hooker Thompson, who shared the Sydney field with England manager Martin Johnson in the 2003 World Cup triumph over Australia, have both found form in France.

Wilkinson moved to Toulon in May, kicking 17 points on debut in August, while Thompson, who retired in 2007 because of a neck injury but then repaid his insurance payoff, launched a comeback with Brive later that year and is playing in this season's Heineken Cup.

Johnson, without 12 first-team candidates due to injury, has also included new caps in Bath prop David Barnes, Leicester lock Richard Blaze and Northampton second rower Courtney Lawes.

Among the absentees are British and Irish Lions forwards Phil Vickery and Simon Shaw while backs Delon Armitage and Riki Flutey are also sidelined.

Squad: Backs: Matt Banahan, Danny Care, Mark Cueto, Ben Foden, Shane Geraghty, Andy Goode, Dan Hipkiss, Paul Hodgson, Ugo Monye, David Strettle, Mathew Tait, Mike Tindall, Richard Wigglesworth, Jonny Wilkinson; Forwards: Steffon Armitage, David Barnes, Duncan Bell, Richard Blaze, Steve Borthwick, George Chuter, Jordan Crane, Tom Croft, Louis Deacon, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Ben Kay, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Moody, Tim Payne, Steve Thompson, David Wilson, Joe Worsley.

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