Boudjellal rules out Wilko return

Date published: September 16 2014

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Jonny Wilkinson will not be coming out of retirement to solve Toulon's injury crisis according to president Mourad Boudjellal.

Jonny Wilkinson will not be coming out of retirement to solve Toulon's injury crisis according to president Mourad Boudjellal.

The reigning French and European champions find themselves short of options at fly-half at the moment with Frederic Michalak having dislocated his shoulder at the weekend, while Matt Giteau is also out.

New signing Leigh Halfpenny is also still to make his Toulon debut, leaving the team short of kicking options and with just James O'Connor as a recognised fly-half in the squad.

The goal-kicking proved costly on Saturday night when Toulon were beaten at home by Stade Français, with Delon Armitage, O'Connor and scrum-half Eric Escande all struggling from the tee.

That, combined with Michalak's extended absence, had led to speculation that Wilkinson, who is still in good shape and currently part of the coaching team, might make a return to help out the club.

According to local newspaper Nice Matin, Boudjellal tried to convince the World Cup winner on Sunday with a call to his agent.

“You need to be good. We need Jonny. It's up to you to convince him,” Boudjellal told Wilkinson's agent Laurent Quaglia.

However apparently Wilkinson got in touch with backs coach Pierre Mignoni to let him know that a return would not be possible.

And Boudjellal appears to have accepted that is the case, telling RMC Radio that he does not expect his former star to play for Toulon again.

“A return for Jonny? I don't think it will happen,” he explained.

“It's not on the agenda at the moment. We would really need to be in dire straits with no more tens available for Wilkinson to come back.”

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