England great Jonny Wilkinson to finish career in Top 14 final

Last Updated: 30/05/14 1:43pm

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Jonny Wilkinson: Iconic England fly-half plays the final game of his illustrious career this weekend

Jonny Wilkinson: Iconic England fly-half plays the final game of his illustrious career this weekend

Sky Bet

Jonny Wilkinson will bid to sign off his rugby career in grand style on Saturday by helping Toulon win the Top 14 final against Castres in his final game.

The penultimate match of the fly-half's illustrious career came when the French side successfully defended their Heineken Cup title with a 23-6 victory over Saracens in Cardiff last weekend.

Now, French rugby's biggest prize is at stake but it is Wilkinson who will once again take centre stage with even his opposite number behind the pack, Castres' Remi Tales, paying pre-match tribute to the England great.

"What makes him stand out is his game management. He gives his team a lift by finding the diagonals whenever there's an open space," said Tales.

"He can do everything and he also has drop goals in his armoury. When you're defending and he penalises you with three points, that hurts.

"I'm lucky to be playing against him in his last match, it's a great honour."

Even Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal admits it will be 'moving' if the club win the league championship in Wilkinson's final match.


It will be a fitting end to a glorious career that has included a World Cup win in 2003 and seven finals with the French giants.

"We cannot mess it up," said Boudjellal. "We have given hope to plenty of people and we must not disappoint them. And then it will be Jonny Wilkinson's final match.

"I don't know if this will be the biggest trophy that we win at Toulon but it will be the most moving."

Toulon reached their zenith with last season's historic first European Cup triumph, and followed it up with this season's repeat triumph.

But in between, they actually lost the last Top 14 final to Castres.

"With all the respect I have for Castres, we cannot fail," added Boudjellal.

"We are fully aware that last year we underestimated Castres and that they are a team who deserve to be taken seriously."

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