Monday, March 17, 2008
New England wonderboy Danny Cipriani led England to victory with a well deserved 33-10 win over Ireland on Saturday.
Wilkinson's replacement had a dream game at number ten, scoring 18 points in total, kicking seven out of seven kicks at goal. His all round game play was virtually faultless and he looks a mature player who can take control of a game and the forwards, hard to believe at only 20 years of age.
Wilkinson did come on, at centre as replacement for Toby Flood, to huge cheers from the Twickenham faithful who, despite his run of poor form, still show the loyalty that the great man so richly deserves.
"Playing anywhere on that field will be fantastic and I think my big challenge is the same as every day - find the best of me," said Wilkinson.
"Danny has deserved his go and he took it brilliantly. Every day is a learning experience and I'm at a different angle now watching from the sidelines."
Ireland did score a nice try through Rob Kearney, but it just wasn't enough and without experienced centre pairing O'Driscoll and Darcy, Ireland looked poor once again, and the calls for coach Eddie O'Sullivan's scalp will now be stronger than ever.
The result means England finish second, with Ireland coming in fourth, their worst Championship result since 1999.