JONNY WILKINSON signed off his remarkable career with the strains of God Save the Queen ringing in his ears after he guided Toulon to Top 14 glory in Paris this evening.
Wilkinson kicked four penalties and a drop goal, as the galactiques from the Var added the Bouclier de Brennus to the European Cup they won last week in Cardiff, with an 18-10 win over defending champions Castres Olympique at Stade de France.
It was Toulon’s third final in as many years, but the first time they had lifted the trophy. They become the first side since Toulouse to win the Top 14 and European Cup in the same year.
Toulon fans had decided to sing the UK national anthem 10 minutes into the game, in tribute to the fly-half, who formally announced his long-anticipated retirement in the week leading up to the European final. But the words died in their throats as Scottish international Max Evans scored the only try of the game for the side from the Tarn.
But it rang out after the final whistle, as the crowd voiced their appreciation of a player who has been integral to their success since he arrived in 2009.
Despite Evans's try, it was the boot that decided the game. While Wilkinson and Delon Armitage, who kicked a long-range penalty in the second half to take Toulon out of reach, were both perfect, Castres’ Rory Kockott missed three attempts at goal.