Leading article: A star is reborn

We are not quite sure what the situation is regarding water, sparrows and PS3s. But one thing of which there is a shortage in this country is sporting heroes.

Unfortunately, the England cricket team fell one or two runs short of the totals required to qualify even for honorary heroic status. Then Andy Murray - who had the advantage of being Scottish - followed the traditional trajectory of taking the world No 2 to five sets in Australia, possibly confusing the words "heroic" and "struggle".

Yesterday it was Jonny's turn. One of the few people in Britain so well known that he can be identified by his first name. Born in Surrey. Tested in Newcastle. Rebuilt by the finest medical science available. Bloodied within minutes of the start. Kicking with bionic accuracy. And he even scored a try. Or possibly not, but the interventions of luck, controversy and the video referee only enhance the impression that someone up there is looking down and smiling.

Mr Wilkinson, a nation, and possibly much of the Scottish nation too, salutes you.

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