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Wilkinson set for Newcastle return


Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson will get the chance to return to Newcastle next season after Toulon were placed in the Falcons pool in the Amlin Challenge Cup draw.

Wilkinson left the north-east club for the south of France in the summer of 2009, having spent his entire professional career up to that point at Kingston Park.

The England fly-half, who scored over 2,000 points in 12 seasons at Newcastle, will be hoping he can guide Toulon to another impressive European campaign following their Amlin Challenge Cup final appearance in 2010 and their march to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup last term.

Championship winners Worcester's return to European competition pits them alongside last season's beaten finalists Stade Francais, Crociati Parma and Bucharest Wolves in pool one. London Wasps will meet big-spending Bayonne, who have already signed New Zealand wing Joe Rokocoko and Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips for next term, Rovigo and Begles-Bordeaux in Pool Three, while Exeter Chiefs are placed in a testing Pool Four that also includes Heineken Cup regulars Perpignan and Newport Gwent Dragons, along with Italian club Cavalieri.

Pool Five sees Sale Sharks drawn alongside French clubs Brive and Agen and the sole Spanish side in the tournament, Club de Rugby La Vila, who are making their tournament bow. The five pool winners will advance to the quarter-finals, where they will be joined by three pool runners-up from the Heineken Cup, the final will be played on the weekend of May 18/19/20.

The draw for the 2011/12 Amlin Challenge Cup is as follows: Pool One: Stade Francais Paris, Worcester Warriors, Crociati Parma, Bucharest Wolves

Pool Two: Toulon, Newcastle Falcons, Petrarca Padova, Lyon Rugby

Pool Three: London Wasps, Bayonne, Femi-CZ Rovigo, Bordeaux-Begles

Pool Four: Perpignan, Newport Gwent Dragons, Exeter Chiefs, Cavalieri Prato

Pool Five: Sale Sharks, Brive, Agen, Club de Rugby La Vila

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