England v Ireland
Wilson targets 50 or 60 minutes for England
ESPN Staff
February 20, 2014
David Wilson (left) is likely to start for England on Saturday © Getty Images

England's David Wilson has admitted he would have preferred to get more game time before making his international return but is adamant he is "ready to play".

With Dan Cole set to miss the rest of the season, Wilson is the favourite to take his place in the starting line-up against Ireland on Saturday. Wilson has played just 47 minutes of rugby in the past two months due to a calf injury but he has been fast-tracked back into the side.

With Henry Thomas deemed unready to start a fixture of such magnitude, it falls to Wilson to complete as lengthy a shift as possible. Head coach Stuart Lancaster admitted on Monday that England are "not in an ideal situation" and will be delighted if Wilson survives intact until the final quarter.

"I think I'm ready to play on Saturday," Wilson said. "I would have liked one more game to get my match fitness up, but that's the way it goes. I've got no idea how long I can play for. As long as possible I guess - that's what I'm aiming for. I want to do as well as I can for as long as I can.

"Maybe 50 or 60 minutes. If I get through that and perform well, I'll be reasonably happy. I'm obviously eager to make a big impact."

Wilson damaged his calf in a training game before Christmas but having overcome that injury, his return was delayed by a further two weeks because of a tight back.

"When I initially got the calf injury I thought it would be a few weeks, but I guess I'm not a medic. Maybe that's why I'm not a medic!" he said. "I was disappointed it took so long. It's frustrating when you're injured and I couldn't do a lot with it being my calf.

"It feels good now and I was well tested in the scrum by Exeter. It was a fast game and the pitch was heavy. It was a good workover and I am happy about that. It was a tough test. It might have looked hard and it was.

"I worked pretty hard last week so feel I will be 20 to 30% better this week. I'm aiming to do the basics well - scrum well, line-out well, get through that, go for as long as I can and not let anyone down."

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