International Rugby
Wilkinson ponders England future
ESPNscrum Staff
November 11, 2011
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson kicks for goal, Argentina v England, Rugby World Cup, Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, September 10, 2011
Jonny Wilkinson is three caps short of 100 international appearances © Getty Images

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson admits he is currently considering whether to retire from international rugby.

Wilkinson endured a disappointing World Cup campaign as England were knocked out of the competition at the quarter-final stages and the England fly-half received criticism for his form, especially his kicking at goal.

The Toulon No.10 is committed to playing his club rugby in France and with England eager to select players based in the Aviva Premiership, the 32-year-old admits his international future is in doubt.

"I'm in the process now at the end of the World Cup of letting it settle and let the whole knee-jerk side of it drop away," Wilkinson, who has won 91 caps for England, told TalkSport. "I'm getting close to understanding a bit of where I want to be but playing for England has just been the biggest privilege and honour in my life rugby-wise and it's something that you want to keep that way.

"You want to keep doing it for as long as you can but you want to keep it a privilege and an honour for you and for those around you. It's a big decision but I'm happy with where I am and I'll make that decision. But until then I'm just keep being the best I can be."

Wilkinson won back the England No.10 jersey from Toby Flood ahead of the World Cup. But after the disappointing World Cup campaign and with England hosting the World Cup in 2015, there have been calls for youngsters such as Saracens' Owen Farrell to be fast-tracked into the England set-up.

That could hasten Wilkinson's international retirement, although three more appearances for England would see him join the elite club of player to have made 100 international appearances, having won six caps for the British and Irish Lions.

Mike Tindall's future is similarly unclear after he was kicked out of the elite players squad and fined £25,000 for his conduct in New Zealand. And Wilkinson sympathised with his fellow 2003 World Cup winner.

"It was disappointing to hear for the guys and especially for Mike Tindall," Wilkinson said. "He's someone I know very well, and the other guys too - Haskell and others. There were moments on that tour we all look back on and on the tournament we'd probably say we could've done things differently and I'm involved in that as well. Some of the on the field stuff for me was disappointing but you give it all you have at the time.

"It's tough but I think there's always going to be people out there to get you and make things worse for you. Mike Tindall's a great, great guy and player. On that tour you needed someone to be able to have that strength on one side and attack the rugby the way he did but it's a tricky situation. If we could turn back time and do things a bit differently we would have a go."

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