Jonny Wilkinson believes that winning the Heineken Cup ranks as a greater achievement than lifting the World Cup.
Jonny Wilkinson believes that winning the Heineken Cup ranks as a better achievement than lifting the World Cup.
The Toulon fly-half played a huge role in the French club's 16-15 victory over Clermont in the final of Europe's premier domestic competition, a performance that in some aspects mirrored his showing in England's triumphant 2003 World Cup campaign.
Wilkinson did not miss a place kick in the quarter-final, semi-final or the final of the Heineken Cup and notched up eleven points in Dublin on Saturday.
“It is right up there,” Wilkinson said of the achievement.
“In fact, it goes beyond (winning the World Cup) because life is in the now, it is not in the past.
“The next thing you search for, the next goal you set life just gets better and better if you are in a club as good as this.
“It has been hugely important (to win this). You ask yourselves the questions all the time whether you still merit being there, whether you still deserve to be in teams like this.
“Moments like this give you that opportunity to look at it and realise what an amazing opportunity we all have.”
Toulon were under the pump for much of the encounter, dealing with just 25 percent of territory and 32 percent of possession as they were forced to make 176 tackles to the 66 completed by Clermont.
The 33-year-old admits it took a titanic effort to first remain in the encounter and then fight their way to victory.
“Every time we put three points on them they put five on us. We had to put a stop to that. They attacked so well, with such threatening players. We did go back a few yards but kept in there,” he said.
“At 15-6, I was saying to the boys one try and we're back. We got the penalty and the breakaway try did it for us.”