Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kiwi Boss Henry Says Lions Won't Miss Wilkinson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kiwi Boss Henry Says Lions Won't Miss Wilkinson

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

GRAHAM HENRY, the All Blacks coach, today predicted the Lions would not be weakened if Jonny Wilkinson was forced to miss the tour of New Zealand, writes Chris Jones.

Wilkinson is being given extra time to prove his fitness and Sir Clive Woodward, the Lions head coach, is likely to leave the final decision until the fly half plays for the Lions against Argentina in Cardiff on 23 May.

That is on the eve of their departure for New Zealand and Henry sees no problems in waiting that long for a final decision. Henry said:" I don't think the Lions would lose anything if Jonny had to miss the tour. Stephen Jones, of Wales , has shown in the Six Nations that he is a world class player and there is also Ronan O'Gara of Ireland.

"Obviously, Jonny is a fabulous player and I have a huge amount of respect for what he achieved on the 2001 Lions tour and at the 2003 Rugby World Cup. …

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