Leigh Halfpenny Set To Rejoin Cardiff Blues
Welsh international fullback and former Cardiff Blue Leigh Halfpenny looks close to rejoining his former region.
The Ospreys academy reject has seemed to put his sights on rejoining the Blues, as opposed to his current club Toulon, despite what recent reports have been suggesting.
Halfpenny’s been keen on a 28-30 month dual contract with the WRU, as opposed to the usual 24 month or 36 month contracts which players are usually offered. It’s thought that Halfpenny would like to attempt Super Rugby, an exciting prospect for the 28 year old.
The Cardiff Blues have have had their eye on Halfpenny for a while, making it no secret that they’d like to bring the 2013 British and Irish Lions player of the tour back.
Reports in recent weeks from leading WalesOnline correspondent Simon Thomas, had suggested that the Welsh Rugby Union weren’t prepared to offer him a 28 – 30 month dual contract, and it was either a 24 month or 36 month contract, or nothing. It’s difficult to understand how the Union would like their players playing in Wales yet refuse to offer Halfpenny’s demands, which don’t seem that outrageous at all.
Halfpenny looked likely to stay where he was and commit to Toulon, who are rumoured to have offered him a contract within the region of £850k a year, and try and be a wildcard for the Welsh National Team, who have introduced a selection policy recently.
But it seems Cardiff’s chairman Peter Thomas has offered to pay the remainder of the 4-6 months on top of a 24 month dual contract with the WRU, which would tide him over until the 2019 World Cup, and then he would be contract by the Cardiff Blues for the remaining 4-6 months until the Super Rugby season begins.
The dual-contract Halfpenny’s being offered is thought to be in the region of £420k, half of his potential pay at Toulon, but certainly something worth getting out of bed in the morning for.
This hopeful news doesn’t come too long after Cardiff have announced the signings of Jack Roberts from Leicester and Damien Welch from Exeter Chiefs in the past weeek, for the 2017-18 season, as well as Franco Van Der Merwe from Ulster who was announced a few weeks ago.
With the region struggling it certainly would be beneficial in terms of attendances and sponsors if Halfpenny was to join, and it would be very risky of Halfpenny to try his chances at becoming a wildcard for the national team with Liam Williams, Jamie Roberts, Toby Faletau and George North also playing outside the nation.