Wilkinson injury woe goes on

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The Independent Online

Jonny Wilkinson's injury problems continued yesterday as he was forced out of Newcastle's Premiership game at Vicarage Road yesterday. Wilkinson watched from the sidelines as the Falcons slid closer to the relegation zone after being beaten 27-18 by Saracens.

Leeds' 28-25 victory against Northampton means Newcastle are now just four points clear of the Tykes in bottom spot.

Wilkinson pulled out before kick-off with a groin strain he picked up in training last week. With Colin Charvis on international duty, Cory Harris - whose wife went into labour over the weekend - also ruled out and injuries to Mark Mayerhofler, Stuart Grimes, Owen Finegan and Hall Charlton Newcastle fielded a weakened line-up.

The Falcons were punished for losing their own lineout in the 17th minute as Saracens whipped the ball along the line for Mark Bartholomeusz to put Richard Haughton clear and the winger scored easily. But then Newcastle did win a lineout, drove it well and Burke joined the line and passed perfectly for James Hoyle to score.

Saracens piled on the pressure and were eventually rewarded when Haughton scrambled over for his second try. Newcastle got back into it in the 60th minute as Burke chased and caught his own high kick and sped in to score. But then Jackson returned the compliment with a kick right on the Falcons line that Lee Dickson could not take - and Jackson was on hand to score.

Neil Baxter agreed to sign up with Wasps after scoring two tries in the 28-20 home win over Bath on his full debut for the Premiership champions. Agreement between the 22-year-old former Salford City Reds rugby league playerand Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan was sealed at the post-match press conference.