Toulon are refusing to release Jonny Wilkinson for next week’s England Elite Player Squad training camp from 9th to 12th August.
He will instead remain in France to prepare for their first Top 14 match against Bayonne on August 13th.
Tom Palmer and James Haskell, the other France-based players in the England squad, will be joining the training camp on Monday evening but returning on Tuesday evening to prepare for their opening Top 14 matches.
England Team Manager, Martin Johnson said “We believe that these have been the right decisions to take after close and amicable consultation with the clubs concerned. We will continue to have regular contact and subject to fitness look forward to seeing all of the players when we meet again at the end of October ahead of the Investec internationals.“
It’s another episode in the club versus country saga, and although completely understandable given that the Top 14 starts so early, it’s further evidence to support the case that England’s top players should not be playing in France.