Toulon could dominate European rugby for a long time, says Will Greenwood
Last Updated: 26/05/14 11:35am
Toulon are set to be at the peak of club rugby for many years to come, says Will Greenwood.
The Top 14 club beat Saracens 23-6 to win their second successive Heineken Cup crown, and establish themselves as one of the best club sides in the world.
Bernard Laporte's men can add the Top 14 title to Saturday's victory next weekend, when they take on Castres in the final - Jonny Wilkinson's last match before retiring from rugby.
No side has won the Heineken Cup three times in a row, but Sky Sports pundit Greenwood believes Toulon are ushering in a new era of dominance.
"The man in the black t-shirt with the white star, [club president] Mourad Boudjellal probably suggests they're here to stay for a long time to come," he said.
"He continues to recruit world-class players from all over the world who don't come just to enjoy a pension in any way, shape or form. Those myths have been dispelled a long time ago now.
"He recruits people like [Matt] Giteau and [Drew] Mitchell who were perhaps discarded at international level, and they turn up and go 'I've still got a lot more to offer at club rugby', and then [could] potentially return to international.
"It's like a juggernaut. You're going in there and Jonny Wilkinson is your driver."
"They were brilliant today. There was a moment on the touchline when you felt Saracens - [around] 55 minutes - looked as though they could get back into it, and then world-class players just destroyed them."
Scott Quinnell echoed the sentiment of Greenwood, hailing the driving force of Wilkinson and praising the efforts of all the Toulon forwards late in the game.
The former Wales international was impressed with the way the French club kept their heads against a determined Saracens side, who just couldn't compete with the strength throughout the squad.
"It's like a juggernaut," he said. "You're going in there and Jonny Wilkinson is your driver. He puts you in the right places and says 'right boys, put your foot down, just keep on going - we've got a scrum, OK'. A couple of them didn't work early on, but they didn't panic - they just got in there.
"The physicality in and around the breakdown I though was magnificent with the likes of [Bakkies] Botha, [Danie] Rossouw and then [Juan] Smith, who was just absolutely brilliant. Fernandez Lobbe coming in there as well for Steffon Armitage, sitting in at the back of the scrum - he's making it look easy, too easy.
"He's just at the top of his game at the moment. They are a juggernaut and they'll add to that again in the summer."