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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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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com