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Wilkinson enjoys Twickers memories

Jonny Wilkinson has reflected on the "phenomenal" memories of performing at Twickenham as he prepares for what is likely to be his final match at the home of English rugby.

Toulon face Saracens in the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup with Wilkinson at the helm of the big-spending French club in place of regular captain Joe van Niekirk, who has fallen out of favour. The 33-year-old made 42 appearances for England at Twickenham, winning on 36 occasions, and also played there three times for former club Newcastle.

"What Twickenham has represented has been phenomenal, I have some great memories here," Wilkinson said.

"I've enjoyed every second of it and with the guys I've had the opportunity to play with here.

"It's not a case of saying this could be my last match at Twickenham, it's more a case of wanting to make the most of the occasion and give it everything we have.

"It's a really special place to be. It's unique and playing here isn't something that happens very much."

Wilkinson will line up opposite Owen Farrell - the incumbent England fly-half - in one of the most eagerly-awaited duels of Sunday's match.

Twelve years separate the rivals and Wilkinson insists Farrell's ability was evident at an early age, recognising several similarities to himself.

"I had the good fortune to meet Owen at the 2007 World Cup. I saw even at that young age that he had what I had. I realised he had 10 years to play with it," he said.

"It's great to see someone who covers every area. He steps up and kicks a goal, then makes a tackle and then takes responsibility to make a call. You can only be inspired by him and it's great that he's there for the England team."


From Belfast Telegraph