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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
Wilkinson avoids his finest hour
Jonny Wilkinson in action for England during their defeat to Ireland this year
Wilkinson played three Six Nations matches on his return this year
Jonny Wilkinson insists he has still never watched his World Cup-winning heroics of four years ago in Sydney.

"I am sure if I did I would find a load of things I could have done much, much better," he told BBC Five Live Sport.

"I never come off the field thinking I have played really well. The final was certainly not a game I would look back and say 'we played brilliantly'.

"The drop-goal was my fourth go, after missing three. I would never say 'well done' for playing well in that game."

The Newcastle fly-half, currently battling to shake off a rib injury ahead of England's tour of South Africa, said he hopes to be remembered for his last-ever game of rugby - "and if that game is poor, then so be it".

Having returned to the England side for the first time since his Sydney exploits in this year's Six Nations Championship, Wilkinson - 28 next month - is contemplating what would be his third World Cup later this year.

Despite the pessimism over England's chances after their descent from first to seventh in the world rankings, he believes the long lead-up period to the tournament will boost their chances.

We've got fantastic players and an enormous amount of honesty, trust and pride

Jonny Wilkinson
England begin preparations on 25 June with a two-week training camp in the Algarve, Portugal, before returning to their Bath University base in July ahead of warm-up Tests against Wales (4 August), and France (11 and 18 August).

Their opening game of the tournament is against the USA on 8 September, with further group games to follow against South Africa, Samoa and Tonga.

"This time we have got it all to prove, whereas last time we had kind of done that already for the previous year, and went into the World Cup as favourites," Wilkinson noted.

"It is all about interpretation. There is a certain interpretation that we have won a few and lost a few this year, and that it will be very difficult.

"But we have got a great warm-up schedule and an enormous amount of time in camp.

"We've got fantastic players and an enormous amount of honesty, trust and pride, and those players will drive us into this tournament.

"If all that is embraced, with this coaching team and the enjoyable way they want to play the game...I can see why people are saying [we will struggle], but we see things differently.

"There were games at the last World Cup that anyone could have won. How many people put their money on Australia (to beat New Zealand) in the semi-final? We could have lost to Wales in the quarter-finals, or Samoa in the group games.

"It is just the same. We know we have got a certain amount of games we have got to perform well in."



SEE ALSO
Newcastle v Bath (Sat)
26 Apr 07 |  English
Newcastle 19-12 Gloucester
14 Apr 07 |  English
London Irish 38-12 Newcastle
03 Mar 07 |  English


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