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Phil Vickery - New England Captain

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    Phil Vickery - New England Captain

    PHIL VICKERY MBE was named as England captain up to and including Rugby World Cup 2007.

    The London Wasps prop replaces Leicester Tigers’ Martin Corry and will lead the side into the RBS 6 Nations which kicks off against Scotland at Twickenham on February 3.

    Vickery heads a 33-man senior squad which includes fellow 2003 World Cup winners Jason Robinson MBE (Sale Sharks) and Jonny Wilkinson MBE (Newcastle Falcons) as well as uncapped Bristol No 8 Dan Ward-Smith, London Irish No 10 Shane Geraghty and Saracens centre Andy Farrell.

    England Head Coach Brian Ashton said: “Phil is a player of massive experience who has been at the top of the world and he has a great desire to lead England back there again. He showed in the autumn that he is back playing international rugby well and both as a player and a captain he is the right man to take England forward.

    “During the autumn Martin Corry handled the captaincy situation really well in what was a difficult period – and I thank him for that. He is still a vital member of the senior Elite Player Squad and we will be looking to him for support and advice in what will be a very challenging year ahead.”

    Vickery, who led England to victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires in 2002, said: “It’s a huge honour to be asked to captain England. Everyone knows what a fantastic guy Martin Corry is – he led from the front in a tough autumn when he was getting a lot of stick and I feel very privileged to follow him.

    “But I don’t just want the title. I want to be part of a successful team and I am looking forward to working with everyone to create that. I have always got on well with Brian and I have enormous respect for him.

    “I am under no illusions about the challenge we all face but it’s also an extremely exciting time. This is a huge opportunity for people to stick their hands up and stake their claim.”

    Ashton welcomes back Jason Robinson, who announced his retirement from international rugby in September 2005, saying: “Jason is another who has won a World Cup and knows what it takes to be at the top of the world game in professional sport. Apart from being a fantastic rugby player he has outstanding values as a person which will be important to the England team in the coming year.”

    @@@@SPAN style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">England RBS 6 Nations squad@@@@/SPAN>

    @@@@SPAN style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Forwards:@@@@/SPAN> Alex Brown (Gloucester Rugby), George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Perry Freshwater (Perpignan), Danny Grewcock (Bath Rugby), Magnus Lund (Sale Sharks), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Tom Palmer (London Wasps), Tom Rees (London Wasps), Steve Thompson (Northampton Saints), Phil Vickery (capt, London Wasps), Dan Ward-Smith (Bristol Rugby), Julian White (Leicester Tigers), Joe Worsley (London Wasps).

    @@@@SPAN style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Backs:@@@@/SPAN> Iain Balshaw (Gloucester Rugby), Mike Catt (London Irish), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers), Andy Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Newcastle Falcons), Shane Geraghty (London Irish), Josh Lewsey (London Wasps), Jamie Noon (Newcastle Falcons), Shaun Perry (Bristol Rugby), Jason Robinson (Sale Sharks), Peter Richards (Gloucester Rugby), Paul Sackey (London Wasps), Mathew Tait (Newcastle Falcons), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons).
    <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">

    If you’re fat stay in the ruck - Liam Toland

    Looks weak.


      Thats great news for Phil. He is a gent, congratulations Phil[img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]


        Wilko out already...

        <div ="storyLayout">
        <h2>Wilkinson set to miss Scotland clash</h2><div ="storydate">Wednesday January 03 2007</div>Wilkinson not even match fit at the moment

        Wilkinson is almost certain to miss England's opening Six Nations match
        against Scotland on 3 February, according to his fitness coach.

        <div ="inlineads"> <table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="100%">
        <td align="center" valign="top">

        <div ="storyPicCapti&#111;n">Wilkinson is still yet to prove his match fitness</div>
        if (OAS_listpos.indexOf('2') > -1) {
        @@@@SPAN name="intelliTxt" id="intelliTXT">The 27-year-old was named in England's 33-man Six Nations squad on Tuesday.
        "I don't think Jonny will be ready for the Scotland game," Steve Black told <em nd="3">BBC Sport[/i].
        "It would be foolhardy to rush him back. He needs time to
        adjust to the playing environment. We need to get him back onto the
        field for Newcastle."
        With Wilkinson unlikely to play, either Toby Flood or the
        uncapped Shane Geraghty - neither of whom has started a game for
        England - will be selected at fly-half against Scotland by new head
        coach Brian Ashton.
        Wilkinson has not played for the Falcons since suffering a lacerated kidney on 3 November against Bristol.
        He is joining in with fitness and skills sessions with his team-mates, but is yet to take part in full-contact sessions.
        Black, who has worked with Wilkinson since he was 17, says the fly-half is making excellent progress.
        "I work one on one with Jonny every day and he's determined, ambitious and in great nick.
        "He was very sore and uncomfortable following the injury, but the soreness has subsided now.
        "A fit Jonny Wilkinson is a major bonus to the England squad."
        Wilkinson has not played for England since the 2003 World Cup final and has made only three starts for Newcastle this season.
        He has been afflicted by injuries to his neck and shoulder,
        knee ligaments and kidney, but Black denies that Wilkinson will always
        be injury prone.
        "This latest setback was a pure freak injury," Black said. "A whack to the kidneys is a boxing injury.
        "It's a part of the body that's difficult to protect and is vulnerable, even for world champion boxers.
        "Jonny is fit and strong and his recovery levels are high. And he's had a lot of practice at recovering."
        Black also works with Flood at Newcastle and says the young fly-half has learnt a lot from Wilkinson.
        "In rugby, as in life, you want to be with good, positive
        and ambitious people. Jonny Wilkinson would get a tick in all of those
        columns and Toby's certainly benefited from working with him.