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Master Wilkinson out to see off apprentice Farrell

Neither man will countenance the idea, both being team men through and through, but today’s Heineken Cup final focus will be on opposing fly-halves Jonny Wilkinson of Toulon and Saracens’ Owen Farrell.

The match-up is a repeat of last year’s semi-final, when Toulon prevailed and went on to win the trophy for the first time.

Wilkinson kicked all 24 of Toulon’s points in that Twickenham clash, with Farrell landing four penalties in reply. The prone Wilkinson’s consoling pat on the back after Farrell’s fruitless attempt to 
charge-down the master’s late 
drop-goal captured their rivalry and respect in an everlasting image.

Twelve months on the two powerhouse teams meet again in the final at Cardiff in a match given an extra resonance by Wilkinson’s retirement at the end of the season.

Both clubs have another final on the horizon - Toulon facing Castres in the French Top 14 and Saracens playing Northampton in the Premiership next week - but those domestic issues will be very much on the back burner with European glory at stake. Both teams are packed with world class talent in every department and the physical nature of the clash is likely to be immense.

Wilkinson, who turns 35 tomorrow, is as efficient as ever and has the ability to raise his game - and control his emotions - in the big games.


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