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Page last updated at 22:41 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 23:41 UK

Wilkinson back after long absence

Jonny Wilkinson had not played for 10 months after dislocating his knee cap
Wilkinson had not played for 10 months after dislocating his knee cap

Jonny Wilkinson returned to action for the first time in 10 months as he came through his debut for French top-flight side Toulon unscathed.

The England number 10 played the first half and kicked two penalties as Toulon beat Brive 9-3 in a friendly.

The 30-year-old, who was returning to action after dislocating a knee cap, joined the Top 14 side from Newcastle on a two-year deal in May.

"I am very happy to be playing again," he said.

"Physically I feel fine even if I was missing a little of my rhythm.


"Before the match I didn't know what my feelings would be, but once I got into the action I knew what to do."

A crowd of around 8,000 at Toulon's Stade Felix Mayol saw Wilkinson kick penalties in the 12th and 39th minutes. He was replaced at the interval by Conrad Barnard.

Wilkinson is set to make his league debut for Toulon against Stade Francais at home on 14 August.

He moved to the ambitious French side after 12 years with the Newcastle Falcons, and this month was named in England's elite squad despite 10 months out of the game.

The fly-half has been hit by a series of injuries since kicking the winning drop-goal for England against Australia in the 2003 World Cup final.

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see also
Wilkinson returns to England fold
07 Jul 09 |  English
Morgan relieved by EPS selection
07 Jul 09 |  English
Wilkinson agrees to join Toulon
19 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani defends form after axe
21 May 09 |  English
Johnson defends Cipriani omission
19 May 09 |  English
Cipriani resigned to England snub
17 May 09 |  Rugby Union
England warn France-bound stars
30 Apr 09 |  English
England talent drain worries RFU
19 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Trio quit Wasps to play in France
17 Feb 09 |  London Wasps

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