Leigh Halfpenny: Ospreys and Blues eye bid for Wales star

Leigh Halfpenny is helped off the field at Twickenham
Leigh Halfpenny has not played since injuring his right shoulder in the 2014 Six Nations match against England, on 9 March

Cardiff Blues and Ospreys are interested in signing Leigh Halfpenny if his Toulon contract is terminated.

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal says Halfpenny's ongoing injuries could lead to his departure without playing a game since arriving for 2014-15.

Blues director and Wales legend Gareth Edwards said: "We'd welcome him with open arms."

Ospreys coach Steve Tandy said: "We'd always be interested in the quality of Halfpenny, but it's paper talk."

The Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back has not played a game since transferring to the French club from the Blues in the summer.

Halfpenny had shoulder surgery in March after an injury sustained in Wales' 28-19 Six Nations defeat by England at Twickenham.

The Blues tried to keep Halfpenny at Cardiff Arms Park before his move to France, and chief executive Richard Holland said: "Of course, we would be interested if he became available, be that on a dual contract or a regional deal.

Wales captain and Blues flanker Sam Warburton
"It would probably be a shock to Leigh to see all that in the papers, but it's hard to read into it at the moment. A lot of these stories come out of France, and I just think you've got to sit back and see what happens."

"If the reports are true, we are keen to explore this."

Edwards, the scrum-half throughout Wales and Lions' glories of the 1970s, added: "We did our best to keep him, but we might very well have to wait and see if there's a chance to get him back.

"The truth of the matter is the money in France, and certainly in parts of England, is astronomical compared to what we can pay.

"But Leigh might very well realise that not everything on the other side is as green as it probably looked at one time.

"We'll have to be competitive in securing his services if he does come back.

"But at least he'll know he'll be loved and have an arm around him… you're well paid in France, but it's a tough, tough place to go.

"And I think we've just seen the beginnings of the sort of tribulations that can take place in somewhere like France."

Leigh Halfpenny
BornGorseinon, Swansea, 22 Dec 1988
Height1.78m (5ft 10in)
Weight85kg (13st 5lb)
PositionFull-back, wing
ClubsCardiff Blues, Toulon
International honours52 Wales caps (395 pts), 3 Lions caps (49 pts)

Since the shoulder surgery, the 25-year-old British and Irish Lions player has suffered a groin injury and Boudjellal told French newspaper Varmartin he felt Halfpenny might have been carrying that injury when he arrived at Toulon.

"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." he said.

"We are conducting an investigation."

The Blues would be favourite to sign Halfpenny if he was to return to Wales on a contract partly-funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Gorseinon-born Halfpenny played junior rugby with the Ospreys before signing a professional contract with the Blues.

The Ospreys have two full-backs in their squad at the moment, Richard Fussell and new signing Dan Evans - but Tandy would not rule out a move for Halfpenny.

"We'll keep our ear to the ground," said Tandy

"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).

"Obviously you'd be interested in a player of that quality, but we've just got to focus on the day-to-day stuff."

And Cardiff Blues second row Jarrad Hoeata says Halfpenny would be a great addition to the squad if he were to return to the Arms Park.

"Any player with that calibre, you'd welcome into your own team," he said.

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