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Last Updated: Monday, 22 October 2007, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Wilkinson was hampered by injury
Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson was never 100% fit during the World Cup
Jonny Wilkinson has revealed his kicking was affected by the ankle injury he sustained during England's first week of preparations in France.

The 28-year-old fly-half said: "My right ankle gave me trouble throughout the tournament.

"I had treatment on it pretty much every day. And I had to have treatment on it at half-time in Saturday's final.

"I didn't kick with the right foot in any of the games except for three dropped goal attempts that all missed."

Wilkinson picked up the injury during England's first World Cup training session and was ruled out of the first two matches - including a 36-0 defeat by South Africa.

But he galvanised England on his return, scoring 67 points, although his place-kicking success rate was about 60%.

I broke the habit of a lifetime after the game on Saturday night and had a bit of a blow-out

Jonny Wilkinson

"Phil Pask, one of our physios, said that the rehab on the ankle here was three or four weeks shorter than he would have liked," said Wilkinson.

"Normally we would not have pushed the comeback so quickly, but I was up and running on it after only 10 days and was patched up sufficiently to play in the Samoa game. The medics did a wonderful job.

"When I get home, I am going to have to reassess the ankle and let it recover properly."

Despite their 15-6 defeat to South Africa in the final, Wilkinson made it clear he is very proud of what England achieved after they recovered from an awful start in the tournament.


And the normally tee-total Wilkinson revealed in The Times that he "broke the habit of pretty much a lifetime" to commiserate Saturday's loss.

"It was the first time in years and simply seemed the right time and the right thing to do," he said.

"A huge bond has been formed in this squad over the past few weeks and I didn't want to break it. I am proud to have been in this team and in this squad and I wanted to show that.

"There will be plenty of time, I know, when I'll be feeling the pain of having lost the World Cup final, but our Saturday night was more a case of putting that off.

"We actually managed to have a lot of fun, but I tell you, I certainly felt rank as a result of it."

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