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  • Penalty goals: Farrell (4),
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Toulon


  • Penalty goals: Wilkinson (7),
    Drop goals: Wilkinson,
  • European Rugby Champions Cup
  • Semi Final
  • 28th Apr 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Twickenham
  • Att: 25,584

Heineken Cup: Jonny Wilkinson thrilled to help Toulon reach the final

Last updated: 28th April 2013  

Heineken Cup: Jonny Wilkinson thrilled to help Toulon reach the final

Jonny Wilkinson is mobbed by team-mates after scoring a crucial drop-goal

The Lions is difficult for me because it's not at all that I wouldn't consider it - it would be fabulous. It's up there with the most amazing experiences you can get in rugby.

Jonny Wilkinson
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Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was understandably delighted after kicking all of his side's points as they beat Saracens 24-12 at Twickenham to secure their place in the Heineken Cup final.

The England international enjoyed a 100% success rate, slotting over seven penalties and a late drop-goal that broke Sarries' resolve, but Wilkinson was keen to pay tribute to the English side.

"It was great to come out on top against a team like Saracens, it's a big thing for us," he said.

"It didn't go fantastically well for us and we didn't do some of the things we wanted to do.

"But it was all about fighting hard until the last minute and hanging on. Spirit and determination got us there."

One intriguing moment in the contest came six minutes from time when Wilkinson stabbed over his drop-goal as Farrell clattered into him, with the two sharing friendly words afterwards.

"When Owen tackled me, he said 'I didn't go through' and I said 'I'm really sorry, I didn't deserve that, it was down to luck'," added Wilkinson.

"He played brilliantly and didn't deserve that."

Lions

The British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia is announced on Tuesday and the pressure is mounting on head coach Warren Gatland to find a place for Wilkinson on the plane, despite his insistence on not selecting French-based players.

Wilkinson himself remained modest about his chances of inclusion, insisting there are others who might be more likely to get the nod.

"The Lions is difficult for me because it's not at all that I wouldn't consider it - it would be fabulous. It's up there with the most amazing experiences you can get in rugby," he added.

"There's young players like Owen Farrell and Toby Flood for England, Dan Biggar for Wales and Ireland's Jonny Sexton, who are taking rugby forward and it's their era.

"I want those guys to experience that because they deserve it. I'm digging my fingernails in and hanging on really."

Toulon head coach Bernard Laporte was happy to praise Wilkinson though after his skipper turned in a man-of-the-match performance.

"Jonny was huge today," he said. "Great players win great matches and today that was the case.

"Our English players were extremely good and wanted to show in their homeland that they are not finished. Jonny is a great player and has been for a long time.

"Clermont are a benchmark - they are excellent. But I don't think we are particularly bad and we look forward to playing them in the final."

Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 5th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Montpellier vs Bath
Saturday 6th December
13:00Sale vs Saracens
17:30Munster vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Ulster vs Scarlets
13:00Benetton Treviso vs Northampton
15:15Ospreys vs Racing Metro 92
Sunday 7th December
13:00Castres vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leinster
17:30Leicester vs Toulon
15:15Toulouse vs Glasgow
Friday 12th December
19:45Bath vs Montpellier
Saturday 13th December
17:15Saracens vs Sale
19:45Leinster vs Harlequins
15:15Toulon vs Leicester
13:00Glasgow vs Toulouse
15:15Northampton vs Benetton Treviso
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Ospreys
Sunday 14th December
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Munster
13:00Wasps vs Castres
17:15Scarlets vs Ulster
Saturday 17th January
TBCSaracens vs Munster
TBCSale vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
TBCLeinster vs Castres
TBCLeicester vs Scarlets

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Phil Edwards

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