His 50% success ratio is significantly lower than the likes of South African Morne Steyn and Ireland's Ronan O'Gara. And Toby Flood, his rival for the England number 10 shirt, has made 75% of his kicks.
This uncharacteristic waywardness appears to have led England's backroom staff to come up with a bizarre plan to revive his kicking confidence.
ALL-TIME RUGBY WORLD CUP POINTS SCORERS
Correct at 29 September, 2011
Both teams are given access to eight match balls a day before the game in a "captain's practice". During this run-out, the kickers are allowed to try the balls and raise any concerns they have with them.
These balls are numbered and Wilkinson is reported to have said "number four" was his favourite. It was this ball kicking coach Dave Alred and fitness specialist Paul Stridgeon tried to switch for the one in play during the first half of England's 67-3 win over Romania.
If there was a problem with the ball, England could have brought it to the attention of referee Romain Poite but failed to do so. He was alerted to both switches and spoke to the England management about it at half-time.
This prompted the
Rugby Football Union
to conduct an internal investigation that resulted in Alred and Stridgeon being banned from even attending Saturday's crunch match against Scotland.
Grayson, a member of England's Rugby World Cup-winning squad in 2003, was reluctant to describe this as "cheating" but agreed somebody had "overstepped the mark".
"Rules are rules and everybody knows them," said Grayson, who is now assistant head coach at
"If you don't like a ball, you ask the referee. If he says it's okay, you get on with it."
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