Jonny Wilkinson, struggling for some weeks with shoulder problems and held back from the last round of Heineken Cup matches, has made a full recovery and may feature for Toulon in tonight's Top 14 match against Bayonne deep in the Basque country.
The men from the Côte d'Azure are fifth in the table, seven points adrift of the leaders Toulouse, and with difficult matches against Biarritz and Racing Metro scheduled over the next 11 days – not to mention contests with Munster and Ospreys next month that will decide their fate in Europe – the England outside-half's return to health could not have been better timed.
On Monday, the Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal, finally persuaded his star signing to commit to a two-year contract extension, and it is unlikely that Wilkinson will resume his career in English club rugby before the summer of 2013, if he resumes it at all.
Peter Trunkfield, a former president of the Rugby Football Union and a dedicated servant of the sport for many decades, has died aged 80. A man of great humour and sincerity, he had a genius for communicating with rugby folk of every stripe – not least during the political battles of the 1990s, when the governing body was at its most intransigent and self-defeating. He had little time for cant, still less for pomposity. "I honestly don't think he had an enemy in the world," said the RFU chairman, Martyn Thomas, yesterday.