Toulon confirm interest in Halfpenny
December 14, 2013
Could Toulon be Leigh Halfpenny's next port of call? © Getty Images
Toulon have confirmed their interest in signing Wales' Leigh Halfpenny.
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has already revealed his team would not be signing British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, but he is keen on bringing his Cardiff Blues team-mate Halfpenny to the Top 14.
Halfpenny is one of a number of Wales' top players whose contracts are up at the end of the season and Toulon will be able to offer a deal far more lucrative than on offer in Wales.
"We couldn't find an agreement on the salary expectations. The subject is closed," Boudjellal said of Warbuton. "On the other hand, on Leigh Halfpenny, I don't have the same answer. He's a player we're looking at."
Jonny Wilkinson is expected to retire at the end of the season leaving Toulon with a sizeable gap both at fly-half and in their kicking resources. They have been strongly linked with Leicester's Toby Flood and Boudjellal has confirmed they could sign two players to fill the void left by the World Cup-winning fly-half.
"If his body says stop, Jonny will finish his career at the end of this season," Boudjellal continued. "I think right now, he doesn't know. In any case, he's never told me: 'I want to finish my career'. Everything depends on the next six months.
"Having to one day replace Jonny Wilkinson is the kind of thing that falls on you once in 100 years. We've made choices based on managing the game and reliability as a kicker because we will have to replace two players in one: a playmaker and a kicker with a 90 percent success rate like Jonny has. To find all that in one player is difficult, so we'll have to find it in two."
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