Wilkinson waves goodbye

World Cup-winning flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson will retire from rugby after the European Cup and French Top 14 finals.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of the modern-era, Wilkinson looks set to go out on top as his Toulon side prepare to create history in the coming weeks.

The 34-year old will forever be remembered for his match-winning drop goal in the 2003 World Cup final against Australia. Wilkinson made his debut for Newcastle in 1997 before claiming his first international cap a year later against Ireland, aged just 18.

He would go on to win 91 caps for his country and six for the British & Irish Lions in a distinguished international career that included four Six Nations titles, one Grand Slam, and 1,246 Test points, despite suffering numerous injuries over the years.

Defying the doubters with regards to the longevity of his career at the top, his professionalism and unparalleled work ethic went a long way towards extending his playing days.

Wilkinson now has a chance to defend the European crown he won with Toulon last season, before bringing down the curtain on his illustrious career against Castres in the Top 14 final.

Come whatever may, he leaves behind a remarkable legacy.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images