Bitterly disappointed by Toulon’s French Top 14 Final defeat, Jonny Wilkinson was perhaps more open than many expected when speaking to the media after their Paris showdown with Castres.
But after admitting he would be open to the idea of linking up with the British & Irish Lions squad if wanted, Ladbrokes go 1/6 that he appears in Australia.
It appears ill advised to take the 7/2 that Wilkinson doesn’t link up with the squad, particularly in the aftermath of an Owen Farrell performance that left a lot to be desired in the Lions’ last outing, a preparatory clash with Barbarians in Hong Kong.
But despite this, it is strange that Farrell is as long as 9/2 to start the first Test opposing Australia at fly-half, when Wilkinson, whose place in the squad is yet to be confirmed, is shorter at 4/1.
Ladbrokes are of the belief that Jonny Sexton has that role nailed down however, making the Leinster man 1/8 to begin the match in this position.
And therefore, the standout bet regarding Wilkinson looks to be for him to once again kick a drop goal in the country where his iconic status was built.
Indeed, it was Wilkinson’s last-gasp kick that secured England the 2003 World Cup on Australian soil, and 5/4 looks a monster price that he records a drop goal during any Test match on this tour.
With just seven international tries to his name, it is easy to acclaim Wilkinson’s kicking in light of only one player racking up more total international points, whilst his record against Australia must also be considered.
The 34-year-old has accumulated 147 points in 12 appearances against the Wallabies, and with 143 of these coming from kicks, Wilkinson must be confided in to register another drop goal in Australia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.