Leigh Halfpenny: Toulon president will not rule out ending contract

Leigh Halfpenny

Leigh Halfpenny's Toulon contract could be terminated because of the Wales and Lions star's injury problems, says club president Mourad Boudjellal.

The full-back has not played since moving to France from Cardiff Blues on a two-year contract in the summer.

The 25-year-old had surgery on a dislocated shoulder in March, but has since developed a groin injury.

French newspaper Varmatin quotes Boudjellal saying: "We haven't excluded denouncing [terminating] his contract."

Halfpenny has won 52 Wales caps and three for the British and Irish Lions during the 2013 tour to Australia, where he was named man of the series.

But the Gorseinon product has not played any rugby since dislocating a shoulder during Wales' 28-19 Six Nations defeat by England on 9 March.

Boudjellal also claimed there is a thought that Halfpenny might have been injured when he signed for Toulon.

Leigh Halfpenny
BornGorseinon, Swansea, 22 Dec 1988
Height 1.78m (5ft 10in)
Weight 85kg (13st 5lb)
PositionFull-back, wing
ClubsCardiff Blues, Toulon
International honours52 Wales caps (395 pts), 3 Lions caps (49 pts)

"Today, we must address this issue because we do need a world-class goal-kicker," he is quoted as saying.

"We are awaiting the medical update. The problem that we have now is that we think he may have arrived at Toulon with that injury.

"We are conducting an investigation."

Toulon's goal-kicking problems were underlined in their Top 14 home defeat against Stade Francais and the club this week announced the signing of star Argentina back Juan Martin Hernandez.

If the contract is terminated, it would raise the possibility of Halfpenny returning to Wales on a dual contract partly-funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys have both confirmed they are monitoring the situation.

Blues 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."

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy also said they would be interested in bringing Halfpenny, who played youth rugby for them, to the Liberty Stadium if his situation changed.

"We'd always be interested in the quality of Halfpenny, but it's paper talk," Tandy said. "We'll keep our ear to the ground.

"We've got our recruitment that goes on, but it's something we're pretty comfortable with at the moment with Dan [Evans] and Fuss [Richard Fussell]."

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