Wilkinson, the fly-half who broke Aussie hearts in 2003 when he kicked a field goal against the Wallabies with his right foot to win the World Cup final, accounted for 15 of Toulon’s 18 points against Castres. 

The win gives Toulon the double after last week’s win over Saracens in the Heineken Cup final, and sees the England hero bow out on top. 

His team-mates wore ‘merci Jonny’ on their shirts but the ultimate gesture was the belting out of the England national anthem after the final whistle. 

The same fairytales can’t be said for two other rugby legends whose careers wrapped up this weekend. 

Saracens’ Steve Borthwick, a former England skipper, suffered a second final loss in as many weeks with a devastating loss to Northampton in the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham – they led until the final moment when the Saints scored a try that seemed only legitimate to the video official who mattered. His next job will be joining former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones in Japan to be forwards coach for their national team. 

In Ireland, another legend was hanging up the boots in less that emphatic style. Brian O’Driscoll, who won the Six Nations with Ireland this year in his final international games in green, wanted his own personal double with victory in the Pro12 final in Dublin. 

His beloved Leinster, who he’s played for since 1999, did manage to overcome Glasgow Warriors but it was little thanks to BOD, who limped off after eight minutes with a leg injury. 

Still, the 15 years preceding the match were more than enough to see him celebrated like the champion he retires as.

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