Cardiff Want Halfpenny Back After Toulon Threaten To Terminate Contract
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Leigh Halfpenny is wanted back at Cardiff Blues, after Toulon chairman Mourad Boudjallel’s threat to terminate his contract with the French club.
The Wales and Lions full-back has not played for Toulon since making the switch across the channel from the Blues in the summer because of a persistent groin injury.
Reports in France say the problem may require surgery and Boudjallel, Toulon’s multi-millionnaire owner, appears to be ready to offload Halfpenny before he has kicked a ball for the European champions.
It has prompted the Blues to move quickly, by confirming that they would be more than happy to take Halfpenny back to the Arms Park.
Chief executive Richard Holland said: “Cardiff Blues offered Leigh Halfpenny a contract prior to his departure to Toulon and of course, we would be interested if he became available, be that on a dual contract or a regional deal.
“We will be speaking to his representatives to find out the state of play regarding his contract situation and we will take things from there.
“We would be extremely keen to have back a player of Leigh’s calibre and I am sure it would excite our supporters.
“If the reports are true, we are keen to explore this.”
Boudjellal’s remarks about Halfpenny have set tongues wagging the length and breadth of the European game given how brief the player’s stay has been at Toulon.
He is reported to have told French newspaper Vermatin: “Today, we must address this issue because we need a world class goalkicker. We’re awaiting the medical update,” Boudjellal told Varmatin.
“It would have been another two or three weeks. But the problem that we have now is that we think he may have arrived at Toulon with that injury. Now we have the impression that yes, he was injured when he signed for Toulon.
“If this is the case, we haven’t ruled out terminating his contract.
“We pay enough for players (for when they’re away with their national teams). We don’t feel like preparing Halfpenny for Wales just for the Rugby World Cup.
“We’re conducting an investigation. I will know the whys and hows this week.”