Relations between England and France are not always easy, but today there is a plan for thousands of Frenchmen to sing the British National Anthem inside their own national stadium as a tribute to Jonny Wilkinson.
The former England international will be playing his final game before retirement when Toulon take to the pitch in Paris for the Top 14 final against Castres tonight. While the intensely focused fly-half will be concentrating on helping his side secure the Top 14 title at the Stade de France, he could be excused for becoming distracted.
A campaign, being promoted by the regional newspaper Var-Martin, is gaining traction that will see Toulon fans sing God Save The Queen 10 minutes into the match in tribute to the departing Wilkinson.
The idea seems a fitting tribute to the 35-year-old. Since joining the French side in 2009 for what first appeared to be a final swan song, the former Newcastle Falcon has been integral to a period of success for the Top 14 side. Toulon beat Saracens earlier this month to retain the Heineken Cup and will be appearing in the Top 14 final for the third successive year when they play Castres at 8pm tonight.
Toulon have lost the last two finals and will be hoping it's third time lucky, even if just to give Wilkinson the send off he deserves.Reuse content