Heineken Cup round-up: Wilkinson signs up for an extra year at Toulon
Sunday 18 December 2011
Jonny Wilkinson, who surprised no one by announcing his international retirement in the week, kicked off the weekend by extending his stay at Toulon to 2013, when he will turn 34.
A Toulon statement read: "Wilkinson had a contract until the end of this season, with an option to extend it by another season. This option has been exercised. 'Wilko' will be back in the red and black in 2013."
On Monday, one of the most interesting responses to the 91-cap, 2003 World Cup-winning fly-half's international retirement came from the former England scrum-half Kyran Bracken. "I imagine the new regime might want to do without him for a while," Bracken said, "but I think he has three or four years ahead of him, enjoying himself in France. I wouldn't be surprised if, come the next World Cup, a phone call comes in. I wouldn't be surprised if Jonny Wilkinson put on an England shirt again."
Just pointing that out.
In Pool Three of the Heineken Cup, Leinster put Bath out by hammering them 52-27 at the Aviva Stadium. Rob Kearney, Luke Fitzgerald (twice), Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Rhys Ruddock and Ian Madigan scored tries for the holders and Sexton kicked 17 points. Stephen Donald, Dave Attwood and Ben Williams scored tries for Bath and Olly Barkley kicked 12 points.
Ulster put themselves in a handy position in Pool Four – also known as the pool of the not very well, compared to the pool of death that is Pool Five, thanks to it containing three rather than four very capable teams. Ulster won 46-20 at Aironi, the not very capable team, and collected a bonus point.
Their tries were scored by Andrew Trimble, Tom Court, Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack and Adam Macklin; Ian Humphreys kicked 12 points and Ruan Pienaar kicked four. Sinoti Sinoti, Roberto Quartaroli and George Biagi scored tries for Aironi and Luciano Orquera kicked five points.
Ulster lead the pool with 14 points (two of them bonus points) from four matches; Leicester have 12 (none of them bonus points) and Clermont 11 (three). Ulster v Leicester in Belfast in January thus has a rather intriguing ring to it. So does Clermont v Ulster in the Massif Central the week after.
In Pool Three, Montpellier and Glasgow drew 13-13. The French club are out of it; the Scots are still in with a shout of a quarter-final place, although they have to play Bath away and Leinster at home. Yoan Audrin scored a try for Montpellier and Rory Lamont scored one for Glasgow.
In the Amlin Challenge Cup, Worcester stayed in touch with Stade Français in Pool One by beating Bucuresti 57-13 at Sixways. Marcel Garvey (twice), Nile Dacres, Aleki Lutui, Chris Pennell, Josh Drauniniu, Miles Benjamin and Jake Abbott scored tries; Worcester were also awarded a penalty try and Joe Carlisle kicked two conversions to Andy Goode's four.
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