Heineken Cup: Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson relishes Heineken Cup win over Leicester
Last Updated: 08/04/13 12:31pm
Jonny Wilkinson: Happy to play on and be involved in high-profile matches
Jonny Wilkinson admitted it was games like their Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Leicester that made him want to carry on playing.
The fly-half kicked six penalties and a late drop-goal in his side's 21-15 win over the Tigers in the south of France.
He had considered retiring at the end of the season but recently signed a new one-year contract and Sunday's game left him feeling his decision was justified.
"It's one of the reasons that make it so difficult to start thinking about stopping playing."
"It's a great victory for the club. It was a big occasion and this is a first for us. That is why is signed a new contract, for days like this," he said.
"The joy and desire to play with this team, the energy and togetherness we feel is what has kept me going.
"The atmosphere was a little bit bigger than normal but we deal with similar every week. It's one of the reasons that make it so difficult to start thinking about stopping playing.
"It was a phenomenally difficult game and it is no wonder Leicester Tigers are always at the top of the Premiership and reaching quarters, semis and finals of the Heineken Cup."
Wilkinson and Toulon return to domestic action in the Top 14 before taking on Saracens in the Heineken Cup semi-finals at Twickenham on 28 April.
"We will learn a lot from that and hopefully we can go on and use that knowledge in the semi-final against Saracens," he added.
"It will be great to be back at Twickenham but it's also the occasion that counts.
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"We know it's a hell of an ask but we have given ourselves a chance and must continue to work hard."
Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill admitted the defeat was hard to take but could not quibble with the outcome.
"We have no complaints over the result and no complaints with the performance. It was outstanding from both sides," he said.
"It was a good contest and we pushed them all the way. We could easily have won, the effort was phenomenal, we never gave up and we were right in it until the end.
"But Toulon are a very good team and they managed to sneak it."
Cockerill revealed Tom Croft is fine despite having to come off in the first half with a back spasm but confirmed Marcus Ayerza suffered a suspected broken collarbone and he will take the matter further.
"It looks like Ayerza's broken his clavicle from knee that (Bakkies) Botha put in. I have asked the citing commissioner to look at it," added Cockerill.
"People are sent from the field for slapping the ball down but you don't look at incidents like that - it makes the reffing world mad."