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Top 14
Wilkinson: Life without rugby will be a shock
ESPN Staff
June 1, 2014
Jonny Wilkinson talks about retirement

Jonny Wilkinson has admitted life without rugby is going to come as a "shock" after he capped a glittering career with the Top 14 title on Saturday.

Jonny Wilkinson celebrates his Top 14 title, Castres Olympique v RC Toulon, Top 14 final, Stade de France, May 31, 2014
Jonny Wilkinson celebrates Toulon's Top 14 title © Getty Images

Wilkinson kicked 15 points as his Toulon side overcame Castres 18-10 to take their first French crown and ensure the perfect send-off for the former England fly-half. They become the first French side to win a league and cup double, having claimed the Heineken Cup last Saturday in a 23-6 demolition of Saracens.

"I've been here five years and it is impossible to put this feeling into words," Wilkinson told French TV. "All I can do is thank everyone in the group, the coaches, it's incredible to explain, it's just a pleasure.

"I'll keep following the Top 14 because it has changed my life. I've spent half my life with a ball, it's going to be a huge shock after rugby but I'll have a lot of good memories with the whole of the team here."

Wilkinson is expected to take up a specialist skills coach role with Toulon next season, with the club applying to the French league for permission to retire his No.10 jersey. In a further tribute to Wilkinons, his team-mates played Saturday's final with the words "Merci Jonny" stitched into the collars of their shirts.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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