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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 10:41 GMT
Wilkinson 'ecstatic' with captaincy
Wilkinson is England's record international points scorer
Wilkinson is England's record international points scorer
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has spoken of his "honour" at being made captain of his country.

Wilkinson will lead a re-vamped England side in their Six Nations clash against Italy on Sunday after manager Clive Woodward opted to rest lock Martin Johnson who is suffering from an Achilles injury.

The side shows six changes from that which took the field in Cardiff - with Matt Dawson, James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Josh Lewsey, Danny Grewcock and Joe Worsley all starting.

"It's a very special moment," Wilkinson told the BBC Sport website.

"It was not something I ever expected, but I'm ecstatic that Clive has given me this opportunity. It's a great honour.

"Of course, the responsibility is huge, but I don't intend to try and do anything different.

"I'll be preparing for the game as I normally do with Newcastle."

Number eight Lawrence Dallaglio will act as vice-captain at Twickenham.

The 23-year-old, already England's record international points scorer, becomes the eighth different captain used during Woodward's five-and-a-half-year coaching reign.

"Every player in the squad is already very experienced," Wilkinson added.

"What's important is that we concentrate on the game in hand and keep ourselves firmly focussed on the opposition."

BBC Five Live's Ian Robertson
"Wilkinson is respected throughout the game"

England stand-in captain Jonny Wilkinson
"We've seen some fantastic stuff from Italy"

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