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Premiership Rugby

Wilkinson named as England skipper

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

This is just the latest honour to be bestowed upon a player who is on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats of the world game at the grand old age of 23.

Named as the International Players' Player of 2002 award, Wilkinson also scooped the fans' vote being named Planet Rugby's Player of the Year for the second straight year and was also awarded the MBE in end of year Queen's honours – the youngest rugby player ever to receive such an award.

In his 40 Test appearances for his country, Wilkinson has scored a remarkable 640 points and was also the Test fly-half during the Lions' three-match series against Australia in 2001.

Already England vice-captain and his club skipper, Wilkinson has now been given the chance to stand in for long-time England leader Johnson, with the Leicester man expected to be fit for England's next Six Nations tie, against Scotland on March 22.

"I'm obviously disappointed for Martin, but it's essential that he is 100 percent fit if he is to be considered for the Scotland match," said England coach Clive Woodward.

"This is a huge honour for Jonny. He's been vice-captain for a number of internationals, captained his club Newcastle Falcons and I know it's a challenge he will relish."

The England team will be named Tuesday, March 3 at around 11.00 GMT.

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