Another injury setback for Wilkinson

Kidney damage is the latest in Jonny Wilkinson’s plethora of injuries.

The 27-year-old last played regularly in 2003 and the injury, sustained while playing for Newcastle Falcons, will further hamper his chances of forcing his way into Andy Robinson’s 2007 World Cup squad.

No operation is needed but doctors have requested that Wilkinson rest for a month before resuming training.

Newcastle’s director of rugby John Fletcher told BBC Sport: “We are all desperately disappointed for Jonny.”

“He has shown in the past what resilience he has in the face of injury, and I’m sure we will see the same amazing strength of character this time round.

“We are deliberately not giving an estimated date for his return to match action.”

Wilkinson has played 52 Tests for England scoring 817 points in a career that dates back to 1998. Robinson expressed his desire to see the player many considered to be the world’s premier flyhalf back in action.

“We are looking forward to seeing him back playing for Newcastle Falcons and putting this unlucky run of injuries behind him.”