Jonny Wilkinson has officially signed his new one-year deal with Toulon.
Wilkinson revealed earlier this month that he had decided to play on for another season and yesterday he put pen to paper on a new contract.
The former England stand-off has led Top 14 leaders Toulon into the Heineken Cup semi-finals, where they will play Saracens at Twickenham.
Wilkinson had contemplated retiring in the summer, when his current contract expires, because a persistent groin problem was preventing him training fully. “From November through to January, I was thinking: end of career,” Wilkinson said recently.
But a minor procedure in January fixed the problem and a reinvigorated Wilkinson began to re-think his future.
Wilkinson also spoke to his team-mates, particularly Toulon’s scrum-half Frederic Michalak and inside centre Matt Giteau. “These are guys who play inside and outside me and both play in my position too, so there is no better opinion to have to see if they think I am doing a good job,” he said. “They were really honest and I got the impression that they wanted me there.”
Wilkinson proved he still has the ability with a magnificent individual performance as Toulon beat Leicester 21-15 in the Heineken Cup quarter-final.
That display strengthened speculation that Wilkinson could force his way into the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.
Toulon have signed South Africa international Bryan Habana for next season and they have also reportedly recruited the Australia wing Drew Mitchell, who is close friends with Giteau.