Jonny Wilkinson made a successful comeback by kicking Newcastle to a 26-21 Premiership victory against Bristol.
It was Wilkinson first outing since damaging knee ligaments on 8 September. Neck, groin, abductor, biceps and two knee ligament injuries have restricted him to just 15 Premiership starts since the 2003 World Cup.
The former England flyhalf contributed 11 points via a drop goal, two penalties and a conversion, and was also twice involved in the build-up to Matthew Tait’s early try.
“Jonny has got a few bumps and bruises and I’m sure he’ll feel it tomorrow but he is so fit we decided to leave him on for the full 80 minutes,” Newcastle director of rugby John Fletcher told the BBC.
“I thought his first half performance was outstanding and he is one of the players who can make a real difference. He makes the team tick with his energy and his drive.”
Newcastle 26 Bristol 21
Sale 18 London Wasps 12