French clubs circle Halfpenny chequebooks in hand
July 16, 2013
In demand - Leigh Halfpenny recently helped the Lions to a series victory over Australia © PA Photos
Four days after Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland made public his determination to keep hold of Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton, the Rugby Paper reports that three French clubs are heading to London to try to sign Halfpenny.
"Whether or not Leigh will stay I don't know but he's a Welsh lad and we're hoping he will commit to the Blues," Holland told the Independent at the weekend. "We have already had discussions and we will be working hard with Leigh to lock him into the Blues for the foreseeable future." But the sums on offer, according to the Rugby Paper, would seem to price Holland out of the equation.
European champions Toulon are looking for a long-term replacement for Jonny Wilkinson and Clermont are also after a successor to Lee Byrne who is about to start his final season. Racing Metro are also in the game and they have already shown they are prepared to pay big money to secure the services of leading players.
The Blues are unlikely to be able to match financial packages, even with the additional funding the WRU has made available to try to keep talent at home, but they can offer a less punishing playing schedule which could be as important given the mass of international commitments.
Halfpenny's agent will meet with Holland later this week at which time the expectations will become clear. "There has to be a realisation that we can only afford so much," Holland told the Rugby Paper. "We haven't got three-quarters of a million to put on the table, or half a million. I will be honest with his representatives and tell them what we can afford.
"All I can do is put forward something which is competitive and we are confident we can broker a deal to keep Leigh at the Blues."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Fred Couples says the PGA's newly-formed task force will not solve all of the Americans' Ryder Cup woes
Real Sociedad's president has reportedly met with David Moyes in London in an attempt to convince the former Manchester United manager to take over the club
Arsene Wenger is "convinced" Arsenal are still contenders in this season's Premier League title race, even though they have fallen nine points behind leaders Chelsea after just nine games
Jenson Button says he feels less pressure about his future than he did before the Japanese Grand Prix despite the ongoing threat of being replaced by Fernando Alonso at McLaren
Jack Wilshere could miss Arsenal's Premier League game against Burnley on Saturday but Arsene Wenger insists the midfielder's latest injury setback is not serious