Vincent Clerc targets silverware before 'dream' playing career ends

ESPN staff2 Minute Read
Vincent Clerc, right, has targeted one final piece of silverware before hanging up his boots this summer.REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images

Veteran Toulon wing Vincent Clerc has confirmed that this season will be his last in professional rugby.

Clerc, 36, enjoyed a glittering career in which he won three European Cups and as many Top 14 titles while at Toulouse and helped France to a trio of Six Nations successes.

The winger, who finished his France career as his country's second highest international try scorer with 34 in 67 Tests, is hoping for one last trophy before he hangs up his boots in June.

Toulon are currently fourth with two games to play as they hunt a place in the Top 14's end of season playoffs.

"I decided to put an end to my career at the end of the season," Clerc said on YouTube.

"Almost one year ago, I thought everything was over when I got an Achilles heel injury. I thought about stopping everything but deep down I had a feeling that history wasn't finished, that I still had a chapter left to write and I thought, I worked every day, finally, slowly, with thought and perseverance I had the chance to do one more season at this level.

"It's true I'm going to miss a lot of things: friends, adrenaline, competition, the fans, that's for sure. What I'll remember is that for years, I lived a child's dream.

"I was incredibly well surrounded, helped, and with every step of this adventure I realise that it's the last weeks, the last matches, the last finals. It's scary but it motivates me: I realise that I have the same excitement that I'm ready, that I want to go out and get one more title.

"Nothing is altered and I still have the same motivation, and if I could get a last trophy, because it's definitely among my souvenirs and emotions to go and get a last shield before I leave would be the greatest way to put an end to my career."

Clerc has scored two tries in eight Top 14 appearances during the 2017-18 season so far, drawing him level with Laurent Arbo as the Top 14's highest try scorer on 100.