Wilko returns to training
24 May 2007
Jonny Wilkinson has overcome a viral infection to rejoin the England squad as they prepare for the Springbok challenge at the weekend.
The World Cup hero had skipped the previous sessions due to the illness which still has a couple of players sidelined. James Simpson-Daniel and David Strettle did not train on Wednesday due to the infamous ‘Norovirus’, which effects the stomach and lasts for a couple of days. Both players are expected to play this Saturday.
Wilkinson is so often the key figure for England, but in a squad lacking many first choice players, his performance will become even more significant. However, hooker Mark Regan confirmed their would be no excuses and this side would be giving it all for queen and country come Saturday.
“It’s a massive challenge, but the reason you play the game is because it’s all about challenges,” he told reporters at the team’s hotel. “Personally, you can’t get any bigger than playing South Africa – the most physical team in world rugby – in their own back yard.
“At the end of the day, it will be a test of everyone’s character, but we’ve been down to Bloemfontein before with an England side and won. I was involved in that game, so we are looking at the positives.”
Beating the Boks with a depleted side will be a huge upset, and nobody has given this England side much hope. Regan sees it as a great opportunity.
“It is a chance for everyone to go away as possible heroes. People here could generate something special and achieve something special. It is a big ask, and if we do it, it would be a massive achievement.
“You have just got to do your best, and for this team to perform well in an England jersey. It’s not about the guys back home, it is about the guys who are here today,” he said.