Wilko backs Brian

Jonny Wilkinson has thrown his support behind England coach Brian Ashton.

Senior players Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Catt slammed Ashton in their recent autobiographies, but Wilkinson believes he is the right choice.

“He has always been a guy that can take the game forward,” said the flyhalf. “Brian can create an atmosphere and also release players into being fully ambitious and really daring to go out and play, as opposed to fearing failure. You can only go on what you’ve seen and the guy has taken us to the World Cup final in what was a tiny, tiny space of preparation.

“Brian’s man-management skills are fantastic, he ensures you are comfortable and happy but also makes sure you know what is going on.”

Ashton’s current contract with the RFU runs out on 31 December and he is keen to continue in his role.

“I want to win the 2011 World Cup because I’ve got players coming through the game that can do that,” said Ashton.