RUGBY UNION: Newcastle Are Hit by Wilkinson Blow

Article excerpt

Jonny Wilkinson's return to club action this weekend has been dashed by injury.

The England fly-half, whose extra time drop-goal secured World Cup glory against Australia in Sydney last month, was selected for Newcastle's Parker Pen Challenge Cup appointment with Spanish minnows Valladolid at Kingston Park tomorrow.

But the Falcons yesterday revealed that 24-year-old Wilkinson under went a precautionary X-ray on Thursday night on his shoulder and neck.

He will also have a CT scan this morning.

Newcastle stressed that Wilkinson's medical treatment had nothing to do with a car accident he was involved in during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

His chauffeur-driven car left the road near Scotch Corner, but he was able to join his Newcastle team-mates for training later in the day.

Wilkinson was returning home from England's day of celebration in London, which featured a victory parade, tea with the Queen and a Downing Street reception hosted by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

'Following a precautionary X-ray last night on Jonny Wilkinson's shoulder and neck, Newcastle Falcons have announced that he will not be playing against VRAC Valladolid on Sunday,' said a club spokesman.

'This follows Jonny feeling some weakness and pain during training in the last week, and the X-ray was taken as a precaution. The X-ray revealed an area of concern, and that further investigations were warranted.'

Wilkinson is no stranger to injury problems in the neck and shoulder area, but his absence this weekend will disappoint Falcons fans. …