Wilko under another injury cloud


LONDON, October 25 – Jonny Wilkinson was at the centre of an injury scare Monday as England gathered for the first time ahead of their autumn international Test series.The Toulon fly-half will undergo a scan on Tuesday after complaining of soreness in his left shoulder, giving manager Martin Johnson a potential headache as England prepare to face New Zealand on November 6.

Wilkinson, the hero of England’s 2003 World Cup triumph, has been ravaged by injuries since that career highpoint seven years ago.

However the playmaker has been in sparkling form for French outfit Toulon this season which had made him the early favourite to win a starting berth against the All Blacks at Twickenham.

Charlie Hodgson is on standby to replace Wilkinson should he fail to recover in time for the New Zealand match.

Wilkinson is one of five England players nursing knocks as the opening match of the autumn international series looms closer.

Wasps duo Riki Flutey and Simon Shaw both have calf problems, while Leeds flanker Hendre Fourie damaged ribs in a loss to Sale on Friday night and Bath prop David Wilson has a back injury.