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  Monday, 9 September, 2002, 23:53 GMT 00:53 UK
A Spanish Billy Whizz?
In his latest exclusive column for BBC Sport Online England and Newcastle fly-half Jonny Wilkinson introduces the Premiership's latest star and warns the authorities not to make an example of Danny Grewcock.

Wilkinson says Ripol has everything it takes to be a star
Wilkinson says Ripol has everything it takes to be a star
Heard the one about the Spanish rugby player taking the Premiership by storm?

No? Well, you have now, because Northampton's Oriel Ripol has arrived.

Our visit to Franklin's Gardens on Saturday certainly wasn't too enjoyable.

We were disappointed after the match. But the new stadium was superb - and Ripol mirrored his surroundings perfectly.

He's certainly got something of the 'Jason Robinson' about him.

He's blisteringly quick, almost impossible to stop in a one-on-one situation and getting lots of the ball.

Perfect ingredients if you're a Saints fan.

Ripol managed to scoop a hatful of tries last season in helping Rotherham to the Division One title.

And I, for one, wouldn't bet against Spain's very own 'Billy Whizz' doing the same this time around.

Take it from me - he's one of the most exciting prospects in the Premiership and although he hasn't yet attracted the praise he feels he deserves, the stage is set for him to shine.

Sadly, we didn't manage to light up the pitch on Saturday.

Northampton proved just too good for us and as a captain I felt we didn't do ourselves justice.

We were sloppy with the ball and threw away opportunities. Now we have work out why - as well as how - we're going to use the experience to move on.

Monday was our first England squad training session this season and it was great to be back with the guys.

I'm not often tongue-tied but after a chance encounter with Michael Horak I'm having problems talking.

But it didn't go exactly to plan, for me at least.

I'm not often tongue-tied, but after a chance encounter with Michael Horak I'm having problems talking.

We both attempted to make a 'stop tackle' which resulted in me biting through my tongue - though thankfully I'm fine and making a speedy recovery.

There were lots of new faces in training - some I know well and others not so.

I have to admit to being a tad nervous and feeling quite tense after such a long period away.

We've all got to make a fresh start and I've got to prove myself worthy of sticking around.

England would miss Danny Grewock, says Wilkinson
England will miss Grewcock if he's banned, says Wilkinson
The competition for places is intense.

Lot's of guys proved themselves on the summer tour to Argentina and, given the chance, they'd all relish playing international rugby for England.

But that's one of the great positives for the fans. The future of the game has never been healthier in this country.

The trouble for the players, however, is that there are no guarantees for anyone anymore.

I've got to say that I hope the right decision is made for Danny Grewcock, who was red-carded on the weekend for kicking Kyran Bracken.

He faces a 12 week ban and as a result could miss out on the November friendles, which would be a massive blow not just for England but for him.

Danny's a great rugby player, a massive force in the game and has represented England superbly over the years.

So let's hope the correct decision is made for him and the game.

Jonny Wilkinson

Wk 2 match reports

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03 Sep 02 | Jonny Wilkinson
27 Aug 02 | Jonny Wilkinson
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