8 Jun 2013

Wilkinson no longer an option for the British and Irish Lions

9:07 am on 8 June 2013

The former England first five-eighth Jonny Wilkinson has put his French club ahead of the British and Irish Lions after opting to have a groin operation that will sideline him for several weeks.

The 34-year-old, who kicked Toulon to the Heineken Cup and was named European player of the Year, had ruled himself out of the Lions squad due to club commitments but told coach Warren Gatland he'd be on standby as an injury replacement.

However, with the Lions' first test against the Wallabies just two weeks away, Wilkinson, now says he had the operation to get him ready for another long club season.