Wilkinson wary of Sarries

Jonny Wilkinson has warned his Toulon team-mates they will need to be on top of their game when they face Saracens in the Heineken Cup final or risk being embarrassed (Toulon 8/13, Sarries 13/10 – Match Betting).

The fly-half has been a revelation since joining the French club in 2009 and was instrumental once again in Sunday’s semi-final triumph over Munster.

The 34-year-old converted six out of seven penalty attempts and also dropped a first-half goal to hand the defending champions a 24-16 win over the Irish province in Marseille.

The win keeps Toulon on course to retain the trophy and it could be a fitting way for Wilkinson to sign off after strongly hinting he will hang up his boots at the end of the campaign.

Standing in Toulon’s way are Saracens, who made a huge statement of intent in the other semi-final after they destroyed tournament favourites Clermont Auvergne 46-6 at Twickenham.

Wilkinson fears his team could suffer a similar fate if they don’t have the right attitude in the final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and has called on the squad to take the challenge seriously.

“I have the greatest respect for Saracens. They stand out for their thoroughness and professionalism. This year they have found the capacity to play better than last against anyone,” said Wilkinson.

“If we don’t take to the field with 100% focus we’ll get annihilated like Clermont did.”

Despite having already lifted the Heineken Cup once, Wilkinson says he is hungry for more success having been frustrated in his previous attempts to win the European title before he came to Toulon.

“I spent years watching people winning this competition and dreaming about it myself,” he added.

“We [Newcastle, his former club] had a couple of shots at it, in one of which we got out of the group stage, and in the other we had great experiences against Leinster, Toulouse, and these sorts of guys.

“Now it’s an amazing thing just to experience it – but to get into the latter stages and find yourself on the winning side is the other side of that dream.

“It’s great in a way that it’s happening at the end of my career, rather than at the start.”

Toulon have a chance to do a European and domestic double this season having already made the Top 14 play-offs and they are 13/8 to go on and win this year’s Grand Final.

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