It came close to topping the drama of Sydney 10 years ago, and the margins were just as thin as Jonny Wilkinson held up his end of the bargain by winning a first Heineken Cup for both himself and Toulon.
A look ahead to Saturday's final at the Aviva Stadium
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.
France has 250 foreign players in its top-flight which is doing little to help the national team
Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson will decide on his career future in February, saying he will continue playing only if he feels it will benefit his club.
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.
Under £200... Forgotten about Father's Day? The Melogy salon at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London has a "Dad and Lad" package. It includes a wet shave, hair cut and gift for dad and son for £195. Redeem it anytime before 17 Dec; book by Sunday. melogy.com
Calling the all-powerful film mogul Harvey Weinstein a “douchbag” at a party packed with his movie peers is not a recommended formula for anyone wishing to thrive in Hollywood.
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
Harry Redknapp turned his fire on the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World yesterday when he said in court that he was justified in lying to one of the newspaper's reporters in order to prevent publication of a potentially damaging story.
Perpignan 29 Toulon 25
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.