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Toulon captain Jonny Wilkinson fit to face Munster in Marseille

The English out-half has recovered from the injury he picked up against Leinster, but Bakkies Botha and Ali Williams are doubts.

Wilkinson was forced off with a thigh injury against Leinster.
Wilkinson was forced off with a thigh injury against Leinster.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

TOULON WILL BE able to call on iconic out-half Jonny Wilkinson for Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Munster in Marseille.

The Englishman has been out of action since limping off against Leinster in the quarter-final at Stade Mayol on the 6th of April, but his recovery from a thigh injury has gone according to plan, meaning Wilkinson is available for selection against the Irish province.

This boost follows the news that Bryan Habana has been passed fit to play.

Habana was absent from Toulon’s 46-31 away win against Perpignan over the weekend, with a similar injury to Wilkinson’s having curtailed his season so far. The Springbok flyer has made just five first-team appearances in the current campaign.

However, the 30-year-old may add to that tally if head coach Bernard Laporte decides to involve him against Munster.

Hooker Craig Burden is another man who Toulon will be able to select, with the South African hooker having recovered from the elbow injury he picked up during an excellent individual display versus Leinster.

Less positively for Toulon, there remains uncertainty over second rows Bakkies Botha and Ali Williams. Botha fractured an arm in January, but was expected to be back in action by now, while Williams has been missing for the last month with a problem in his right biceps.

Both veteran locks are thought to be very close to being involved this weekend, with Laporte saying: “They’re getting better and better, we’ll see during the week if they’re going to recover.”

Toulon hired a mobile cryotherapy unit yesterday to aid their squad’s recovery following the win over Perpignan on Saturday. Prop Levan Chilachava, lock Kote Mikautadze and fullback Delon Armitage all sustained knocks in that win, but none are concerns for the clash with Munster.

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Murray Kinsella

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