Wilkinson plays down Tour chances

Saracens 12 Toulon 24

Man-of-the-match Wilkinson, possibly making his final appearance at Twickenham, kicked seven penalties and a late drop-goal to set up an all-French decider against Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium on May 18.

It was a stunning display that prompted bookmakers to slash odds on his inclusion in the Lions squad which will be announced tomorrow, but the 33-year-old urged the tourists’ coach Warren Gatland to look elsewhere.

“I’m prone to feeling great after a day like today but after a match like last weekend’s I felt as though I’d let the boys down,” he said.

“I think about tearing up my contract for next year and things like that. It’s what goes through my head. I just play and play and no-one can tell you if you’re doing great or not. Am I doing enough right now?

“The Lions is difficult for me because it’s not at all that I wouldn’t consider it – it would be fabulous. It’s up there with the most amazing experiences you can get in rugby. But I watch guys like Owen Farrell, Toby Flood, Dan Biggar and Jonathan Sexton and it is them who are driving rugby forward.

“Perhaps they should be the ones driving this tour forward as well.”

Wilkinson schooled opposite number Farrell in a match that saw England’s fly-halves past and present meet for the first time. One telling moment arrived in the 74th minute when Wilkinson managed to stab over an important drop-goal with his left foot as Farrell, who is 12 years his junior, clattered into him.

Scorers for Saracens: Pens: O Farrell 4.

Scorers for Toulon: Pens: J Wilkinson 7. Drop Goals: J Wilkinson.

SARACENS: A Goode, C Ashton, J Tomkins, B Barritt, D Strettle, O Farrell, R Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, S Brits, M Stevens, S Borthwick, A Hargreaves, J Wray, K Brown, E Joubert.

Replacements: C Hodgson for Barritt (54), C Wyles for Strettle (45), N de Kock for Wigglesworth (51), R Gill for Vunipola (69), J Smit for Brits (64), C Nieto for Stevens (69), M Botha for Hargreaves (69), G Kruis for Joubert (49).

TOULON: D Armitage, R Wulf, M Bastareaud, M Giteau, A Palisson, J Wilkinson, S Tillous-Borde; A Sheridan, S Bruno, C Hayman, B Botha, N Kennedy, D Rossouw, JF Lobbe, C Masoe.

Replacements: G Jenkins for Sheridan (61), JC Orioli for Bruno (52), M Mermoz for Hayman (78), J Suta for Kennedy (57), S Armitage for Rossouw (66), J van Niekerk for Masoe (71), D Kubriashvili for S Armitage (78).

Ref: A Roland (IRFU).

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