The England fly-half got his first taste of French club rugby after kicking 17 points in Toulon's draw against Stade Francais in the Top 14 curtain-raiser.
Wilkinson savours French fervour
Jonny Wilkinson savoured his first taste of French club rugby after kicking 17 points in Toulon's 22-22 draw against Stade Francais in the Top 14 curtain-raiser. The England fly-half scored four penalties, converted Thomas Sourice's first-half try and dropped a long-range goal in a solid debut for Toulon last night at the Stade Mayol. The Stade scrum-half Noel Oelschig's 77th-minute drop goal secured a share of the points for the visitors. But Wilkinson, who has been ravaged by injury problems over the past six years, was happy with how things went on a personal level. "I felt good physically and it was important for me to play 80 minutes," the 30-year-old told the French daily newspaper L'Equipe, www.lequipe.fr. "I scored 17 points, but the most important thing was that we didn't win. "The atmosphere was incredible. At one moment, I had just kicked a penalty and I asked myself what had happened in the stadium such was the noise. "I hope that there will be a lot more moments like this." Three other England internationals ? Tom May, James Haskell and Tom Palmer ? featured in last night's match. Stade's flanker Haskell received a yellow card late in the first half for cynically playing the ball on the ground at a ruck.
* PA Sport