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Bates - Wilko will be fine
Falcons boss confident Wilkinson will return in time for Tigers
Jonny (Wilkinson) got a bang on the head and felt a bit of a stinger down one arm. He seemed fine at the end of the game, but he was a little bit woozy and the doctor has been having a look at him and we think he'll be fine.
Newcastle boss Steve Bates
Quotes of the week
Steve Bates says he expects Jonny Wilkinson to recover from the neck injury sustained during Newcastle's defeat by London Irish on Sunday in time to face Leicester next week.
The England fly-half played on after receiving lengthy treatment but was forced to leave the field 12 minutes before the final whistle as the Falcons slumped to a 13-8 loss at Kingston Park.
"Jonny got a bang on the head and felt a bit of a stinger down one arm," the Falcons boss explained.
"He seemed fine at the end of the game, but he was a little bit woozy and the doctor has been having a look at him and we think he'll be fine."
England duo Toby Flood and Jamie Noon, who missed the match with ankle injuries, are also expected to make a return for the clash with Saturday's EDF Energy Cup runners-up.
The coach also spoke of his disappointment with Sunday's result - the sixth consecutive defeat for the Falcons, who are yet to win a league match under the Bates.
Despite reaching the European Challenge Cup semi-finals, Newcastle are currently languishing in the lower echelons of the Guinness Premiership and only guaranteed safety from relegation thanks to Leeds' defeat by Harlequins - also on Sunday.
"That's some consolation," said Bates, "but it was a pretty poor game today and we were very disappointing in the first half and we looked very tired.
"It's a case of two steps forward and one back. We looked a little bit panicky and not comfortable on the ball.
"And while we may have never been out of it, if you looked at the scoreboard that doesn't excuse the level of performance."
London Irish's director of rugby Brian Smith was also disappointed that his Heineken Cup semi-finalists did not take five points from the game.
"We're satisfied with the win but not the performance," he said. "It's a long way up to Newcastle and long way down from the quarter-final against Perpignan.
"We don't have a big squad and we're having to ask people to soldier on and front up.
"We're delighted with the way we're going in the Heineken Cup but we have ambitions in the Premiership to finish in the top six so today was a missed opportunity for us."
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com