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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.

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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