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Wilkinson 'knows what he's doing, he always knows'

Toulon must not try to convince Jonny Wilkinson to postpone retirement and chase an unprecedented third consecutive European crown, according to Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Wilkinson booted 13 points as he captained Toulon to their second straight Heineken Cup title in Saturday's 23-6 victory over Saracens in Cardiff and had a hand in Matt Giteau's cunning first-half try.

The 35-year-old will retire after Saturday's Top 14 final against Castres in Paris, a repeat of last year's French league showpiece, and then join Toulon's backroom staff.

No side has ever claimed three European titles on the spin, but Argentina flanker Lobbe said Toulon must resist the temptation to twist Wilkinson's arm into one more season in a bid to break yet another record. "Jonny's not someone that will take a decision lightly, if he decides it's the moment to retire, it's definitely the moment to do it," said Lobbe. "He knows what he's doing; he always knows what he's doing."

Lobbe boasts 56 caps for the Pumas, ranking rightly among the glut of Toulon galacticos, but the 32-year-old will still happily set Wilkinson apart from every other star at the cash-rich Mediterranean club.

"I will go everywhere behind Jonny, everywhere," he said. "I'm just glad that I had the chance to play with him, he's an amazing guy."

Wilkinson typically waived away the praise. "I've tried to keep my feet on the ground, otherwise someone's going to realise I'm a bit of a fraud," he said.

"You're lucky enough to be surrounded by such quality players, and yet it's not these guys around me that get the adulation and applause.

"When guys go out of their way to cheer for you, it's humbling."

Meanwhile, South Africa captain Jean de Villiers has been ruled out of next month's two-Test series against Wales and a June 28 appointment with Scotland because of a knee injury. Japan also defeated Hong Kong 49-8 to secure qualification for next year's World Cup in England. They will join Scotland, South Africa, Samoa and USA in Pool B.

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