Sunday 18 March 2018

Jonny Wilkinson: This is something I'll remember forever

Jonny Wilkinson admitted helping Toulon to their second successive Heineken Cup triumph in what was the penultimate appearance of his career was "something I'll remember forever".

The England World Cup winner played his last match as a professional in the United Kingdom at the Millennium Stadium, signing off in fine style by playing his part in Toulon's 23-6 final victory over Saracens.

Wilkinson, who celebrates his 35th birthday on Sunday, added the conversions to tries from Matt Giteau and Juan Smith, and slotted home two penalties as well as a drop goal with his right foot, bringing back memories of his World Cup heroics in the final against Australia 11 years ago.

And the former Newcastle fly-half admitted the experience in Cardiff is one of his greatest in his career.

"It's a hell of a feeling. I can't say enough just how I proud I am to be a part of this team, to have been able to play in this competition and to be able to play against teams like that as well," Wilkinson, who will end his career following Toulon's Top 14 against Castres next Saturday, told Sky Sports 2.

"Our season's got one more week left but this is something I'll remember forever.

"There's a lot of relief, a lot of excitement, a lot of sheer adulation. At the moment, it's just trying to take it all in.

"It's a privilege to have been part of that game, to have been part of this final and to have won it - I couldn't have asked for more."

Steffon Armitage was awarded man of the match for his stellar performance that included four turnovers, although, like Wilkinson, the 28-year-old was quick to hail his team-mates.

"All the guys showed a lot of heart and it just shows that work-rate and playing for your team-mates helps a lot. All the boys today were superb, they never gave up and it was good to come away with a win," he said.

"We always knew there was a good chance they might come back so we just had to keep pushing on from there and that's what the boys did. We worked really hard in training all week and it paid off."

Online Editors

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