Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wilkinson Misses England Training

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wilkinson Misses England Training

Article excerpt

JONNY WILKINSON will be absent from England's Twickenham training camp next week after Toulon refused to grant him release.

The Top 14 club insisted Wilkinson would "honour his contract" and remain in France for their opening league match of the season against Bayonne on August 13.

England forwards Tom Palmer and James Haskell will only attend the camp for 24 hours before returning to Paris for Stade Francais' Friday night fixture against Bourgoin.

The French clubs are not obliged to release their players because England's training camp, which runs from August 8-14, falls outside the official international window.

England locked horns with Stade Francais during the Six Nations over the issue of access to Haskell, prompting club owner Max Guazzini to claim the player was being held hostage.

But the Rugby Football Union have been anxious to avoid any confrontation on this occasion and all three players have Johnson's backing to play for their clubs. …

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