Wilko could play on for another season with Toulon

Former England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson says that he could play on for another year with Heineken Cup champions Toulon in France.

Toulon are understood to be looking at signing Wilkinson’s former Newcastle Falcons and England team mate Toby Flood as well as Cardiff Blues fullback Leigh Halfpenny.

Wilkinson signed a one year contract extension for this season and was expected to hang up his boots at the end of this season.

However after Toulon beat Exeter Chiefs 32-20 in the Heineken Cup on the weekend the 34 year old said that he has not yet ruled out signing for another season.

“Yes, I’m contemplating it every day, every week, every match ” but I’m keeping it very simple.” Wilkinson told the Rugby Paper.

“It’s not just about me, it’s about other people as well, and what is in the best interests of this club.”

Wilkinson is still a favourite of Toulon fans at Stade Mayol and after Wilkinson scored a try on the weekend they chanted, “We want Jonny!”

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte said that he too wants Wilkinson to extend for another season with Toulon rather him retiring.

“I want Jonny to play all the time – he’s unique,” Laporte said.

“But only Jonny is able to say whether he will play one more year. He’s a professional guy, he’s intelligent, and we are not pressuring him. We’ll wait.”

Laporte said that Toulon are trying to cover all of thier bases by signing two players as a replacement for Wilkinson and confirmed that they have been on contact with Halfpenny and Flood.

“We have been in contact with Leigh Halfpenny, but we have not signed him, and we speak about Toby Flood ” but in France you can only have 16 foreigners at a club, so we cannot take them all,” explained Laporte.

Toulon club owner said that Wilkinson is such a valuable player that it would take two players replace Wilkinson should he retire.

“We will have to replace Jonny with two players ” a play-maker and a kicker with a 90 per cent success rate like Jonny,” Boudjellal said.

“To find all that in one player is difficult so we’ll have to find it in two.

“If his body says ‘stop,’ Jonny will finish his career at the end of the season. Right now, he doesn’t know. Everything depends on the next six months. “

“Having one day to replace Jonny Wilkinson is the kind of thing that falls on you once in one hundred years.”

Wale fullback Halfpenny is insisting on a release clause for all of Wales’ internationals and training camps which makes his £500,000-a-year price tag a stiff one as he could miss more than a third of the 26-match Top 14 season.

Cardiff Blues say that they will “fight to the death” to keep Halfpenny.

“We have made offers to both players but the numbers are not enough,” Blues chairman Peter Thomas said.

“That’s why we are talking to the Union. For everyone’s sake, everything must come to a head in the next few weeks.

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