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Wednesday Feb 16, 2011

Jonny Wilkinson's trysaving tackle on Andrea Masi

Jonny Wilkinson's trysaving tackle on Andrea Masi

Jonny Wilkinson is playing second fiddle to Toby Flood these days, but despite not being the key figure he used to be, hes adjusting to the role well and contributing where he can, as was seen on Saturday during Englands whitewash win over Italy.

Flood has come into his own at flyhalf, showing some of the form of his career, including a Man of the Match performance in the win over Wales. For Wilkinson, that means hes playing the backup role, which can be slightly frustrating at times, as he said recently.

“It is hell sat on the sideline but at the same time it is massively important. Being on the bench brings new lessons for me,” Wilkinson said. “My desire to play for England is still as great as it was when I won my first cap. I am now in a role where I contribute slightly differently.”

While not starting, he is playing some top quality rugby and still has the ability to come on and do the business when needed. Its a great position for England to be in, and injuries aside, Wilkinson will play in his fourth World Cup this year.

“To play and play and play is crucial for me. It’s been a while and there were all kinds of different injuries going on. Seven years of coming in for cameo appearances has thrown me around in a way I don’t think I’ll ever understand fully.

“Your confidence goes with all these things. It has been an interesting journey for me. I’ve learned that if I want to play rugby I can only play it one way or I don’t play it at all. My desire is to keep trying to get better and better. It would mean a huge amount to me to play in a fourth World Cup. I’m in it for the long run and I will give it all I’ve got and nothing less,” he added.

As can be seen in this clip, Wilkinson came on against Italy and showed his commitment to the cause with a sensational try saving tackle late in the game that prevented Andrea Masi from diving in at the corner. Its been one of the most requested clips this week, so here you go.

Time: 01:21
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