Inspirational Wilkinson claims European honour

England rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson rounded off the perfect weekend after being named European player of the year on Sunday, a day after captaining Toulon to European Cup victory.

  • Published: 20/05/2013 at 01:49 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

Toulon's rugby union captain Jonny Wilkinson trains at the Aviva stadium in Dublin, in Ireland on May 17, 2013. Wilkinson rounded off the perfect weekend after being named European player of the year on Sunday, a day after captaining Toulon to European Cup victory.

The 33-year-old's unerringly accurate kicking game drove the French side through the knock-out stages of the tournament, defeating Leicester and Saracens before running out 16-15 victors against Clermont in Saturday's Dublin final.

Fly-half Wilkinson kicked 11 points in the dramatic climax.

"To receive an award of this importance towards the end of my career is really special," said Wilkinson. "I feel privileged to have been nominated."

Three Clermont players -- wing Sitiveni Sivivatu, centre Wesley Fofana and loose-forward Julien Bonnaire -- were on the shortlist along with Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip.

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