JONNY WILKINSON WILL play the final game of professional career this weekend as Toulon take on Castres in the Top 14 final.
The 35-year-old has enjoyed a superb time with Newcastle, England and RCT, winning two Heineken Cups, four Six Nations titles [including one Grand Slam], a Rugby World Cup, two Powergen trophies and an English Premiership.
Toulon have been beaten in the last two Top 14 finals, with Castres emerging victorious last season, meaning Wilkinson could sign off in the perfect manner if Bernard Laporte’s side win at the Stade de France on Saturday evening [KO 8.00pm Irish time].
Wilkinson has become a hero in Toulon since joining in 2009, embracing the rugby-mad city as home and leading improvements within the club both on and off the pitch. Next season will see him move into a loosely-defined skills coaching role with RCT.
Before he finishes his playing career, Toulon have paid a final tribute to Wilkinson by printing ‘Merci Jonny’ across the inside of the collar on their match-day jerseys for the clash against Castres.
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The club have also added a second star above their crest on the front of the shirt, symbolising their back-to-back Heineken Cup wins in the last two seasons.