Toulon fly-half came close to selection for the Lions
Same as it ever was. Jonny Wilkinson's approach to the outside-half's art may not be as captivating as Barry John's or as complete as Daniel Carter's – he is, in some senses, a small piece of a No 10 unnaturally developed – but the parts of his game that work best are on the supreme side of brilliant. The most celebrated player of his generation guided Toulon to their first Heineken Cup final yesterday with a 24-point haul, three of which came from a drop goal that may just have been better than the one he landed on World Cup-winning night a decade ago.
Much as he would love one last shot at winning the jackpot with the British and Irish Lions, Jonny Wilkinson has spent the last few weeks playing down his chances of staging an international comeback in Australia this summer, effectively admitting that a full-on ruck with the Wallabies is a young man's game. If one of those young men, Owen Farrell, passes the Wilkinson test this weekend, he can expect to be named in the tour party when it is announced in seven days' time.
Former England fly-half extends career by at least another season
Toulon 62 Sale 0
It has not been a happy time for English clubs in Europe – in the last three Heineken Cup campaigns, the Premiership fraternity have filled only four of the 24 quarter-final places available – and if results go the wrong way this weekend, another humiliation will be on the cards.
Sale Sharks 6 Toulon 17: Sale heartened by performance against big-spending Pool Six leaders
Cardiff Blues 14 Toulon 22
I fear that someone has been having our Gallic friends across la Manche on. Somehow, they've come to believe that the pasty-faced, soap-dodging would-be troubadour that is Pete Doherty is not only cool, but that he is a sensible choice for the romantic lead in a period film.
Toulon 18 Biarritz 21
A glittering cast has been assembled for Cannes, take 65 – no wonder the world's most prestigious film festival is feeling bullish
Now... Next Wednesday, depart for a week at the Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica Hotel for £778pp, just a few blocks from the beach. The deal with Hayes & Jarvis includes Delta flights from Heathrow via Minneapolis and room-only board. Hayesandjarvis.co.uk
Geoffrey MacNab on six Palme d'Or Winners that became classics ...
Newcastle have confirmed captain Carl Hayman will join French club Toulon at the end of this season.
Jonny Wilkinson looks set to sign for a second season with Toulon.
One project certainly getting everyone geed up is the prospect of Terry Gilliam resurrecting his ambitions to make a movie based on Cervantes's "Don Quixote". Gilliam has hooked up with Oscar-winning British producer Jeremy Thomas. Screenwriter Tony Grisoni's script revolves around a film-maker who is charmed into Quixote's eternal quest for his lady-love, becoming an unwitting Sancho Panza. The move is the latest twist in a movie-making saga almost as epic as Cervantes' 17th-Century classic. Nine years ago, the original shoot suffered a series of setbacks captured in the documentary "Lost In La Mancha", which went on to became a cult hit in its own right.