Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Huge crowd watches Jonny Wilkinson's first French training session

Latest update : 2009-07-02

England scrum-half Jonny Wilkinson's first training session for his new club, the French Top 14 side Toulon, attracted a 5,000-strong crowd. The world champion ended a 12-year run in the English Premiership when he signed with Toulon.

AFP - A 5,000-strong crowd turned out to watch Jonny Wilkinson take part in his first training session in Toulon for his new club, the French Top 14 side, on Thursday.
  
The England scrum-half, speaking in the language of his adopted homeland, said: "It was fantastic, a unique atmosphere, lots of energy.
  
"The fans here are a big support to the side. For me it's a nice experience and I hope it will be a memorable season and fantastic also for the supporters."
  
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal, watching his latest catch in kicking practice, said: "It's Wilkinson who is for the first time on the pitch at Mayol, kicking, it's an important moment!"
  
Boudjellal added: "For sure there's a lot of proud at seeing so many people in the stand waiting for Wilkinson but this isn't a project designed to have pride it's designed to bring happiness."
  
Thursday's training was taken by Philippe Saint-Andre who said of Wilikinson: "He's in fine form, he comfortably passed the medical tests, he proved that he was very well. He's hungry for rugby."
  
Wilkinson ended a 12-year spell with English Premiership side Newcastle, the only club he has ever played for as a professional, in May when he signed for Toulon in a deal worth up to one million euros.
  
Since kicking the drop-goal that won England the 2003 World Cup final against Australia in Sydney, Wilkinson's career has been blighted by a succession of injuries.
  
But he said on arriving in Toulon that he felt a decade younger.

Date created : 2009-07-02

COMMENT(S)