Jonny Wilkinson praises industry of France fly-half Freddie Michalak

England World Cup icon has been impressed by the contribution of his former Toulon teammate, among others

LONDON, 5 Oct - Jonny Wilkinson is not surprised that his former Toulon clubmate Freddie Michalak is enjoying such an Indian summer at this Rugby World Cup.

The former England fly-half, speaking as an ambassador for worldwide partner Societe Generale, spoke glowingly of the Frenchman's consistency and work ethic.

“Day in, day out he does it with Toulon and I don’t go with the view that he blows hot and cold. He puts in an incredible amount of work," Wilkinson (pictured) said.

"You wouldn’t believe what he does and his game management and skill are unbelievable. He can also do it under pressure and it defies belief that he is maintaining this high standard."

Several others players have caught Wilkinson's eye at RWC 2015. He has been particularly impressed by the contribution of Gareth Davies, whose try for Wales stunned England in the Pool A match at Twickenham last weekend.

"He has been great. Rhys Webb’s boots are big ones to fill but he has really taken on that decision-making role and dictates the tempo of games and makes sure that both forwards and backs are on the same page."

DTH van der Merwe, the Scarlets wing, has also made a big impact despite being in a Canada team that is losing matches.

"He is solid, big and strong and defensively gets stuck in. He has the ability to rip the ball out of tackles and to run through and around players. He’s enormously competitive and a very, very good player."

Wilkinson features high on an all-time list of top tacklers in Rugby World Cups. According to the statistics, the man who put his body on the line for England so often and so painfully, made 121 tackles in RWCs, and he is the only back in a top 20 headed by Richie McCaw, though Namibia's Jacques Burger is fast catching up with 116.

It’s never too late to start playing the official Rugby World Cup 2015 Dream Team game in association with Societe Generale at http://dreamteam.rugbyworldcup.com. The winner of each round wins a RWC ball signed by Jonny Wilkinson, while the overall winner wins a weekend with him in the South of France!

RNS im/mr