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Geech - Lewsey has Lions chance

World Cup winner could round off career with second tour

Last updated: 5th April 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Geech - Lewsey has Lions chance

McGeechan: Looking at the pluses

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Wasps boss Ian McGeechan has said that Josh Lewsey's decision to retire at the end of the season will not hinder his chances of selection on this summer's British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

It was confirmed on Sunday that the 32-year-old will call it a day, Lewsey having earned 55 England caps - and a World Cup-winners medal - and 10 trophies for his club.

Lewsey hopes to bow out with a second Lions tour and McGeechan, also manager of the touring side, insisted that the retirement decision will not affect his chances of being selected.

"I've told him he's got to be playing well first and foremost. I have to look at all the pluses in the squad we want, the mix and how that fits in so there's a bit of sorting still to be done in that respect," he said.

McGeechan was speaking after his side's 12-6 Guinness Premiership victory over Newcastle, their third match in eight days.

Danny Cipriani kept his own Lions hopes alive with an impressive display of kicking which yielded 12 points in a workmanlike victory.

The fly-half kicked three penalties, a drop goal and also played a prominent role in nullifying a Newcastle side who had won seven of their previous eight Premiership matches.

"We played well first half but we didn't turn the good rugby into tries and made it a bit harder for ourselves in the second half," McGeechan added.

"It was our third game in a week and to finish it five metres from your own line in a defensive set showed just how much the players were prepared to put in.

"It was a very good win because Newcastle are playing well at the moment and they've been on a very good run."

Wilko expected to play

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Steve Bates said he expected Jonny Wilkinson to play for the Falcons before the end of the season.

The fly-half, a target of French giants Toulon, has been out action since suffering a dislocated kneecap in October.

Bates insisted he does not know whether Wilkinson is leaving in the summer but did say: "I think there is every chance he will play before the end of the season. We will have to see how he goes in training.

"He was closer this week but it is dependent on how he reacts and we've got to keep pushing him a little bit more in training.

"A couple of weeks ago it wasn't good enough but he's got better and is doing all sorts of different exercises now to combat those problems. We'll have another look at it again this week."

Bates also declared himself "pretty disappointed" after Newcastle failed to mount a second-half comeback against Wasps.

"We had plenty in the tank in the second half and they looked like a side who had played three games in a week but we made too many errors. We threw some poor passes today," he added.

Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st September
Aviva Premiership
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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