Wilko back on bench

World Cup-winning England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson has been included on the bench for Newcastle for the match against Sale on Sunday.

Wilkinson has been out of action since November with a groin injury, after struggling to regain full fitness since the 2003 World Cup.

Newcastle director of rugby Rob Andrew said Wilkinson had looked sharp in training. “All week he’s looked very sharp in training, and now it’s just a case of getting him a bit of time on the pitch and seeing where he is from a game point of view.”

“You have to be careful not to expect too much too quickly. The guy hasn’t played for the best part of six months, so let’s just give him a bit of a run before people judge him.”