Cardiff Blues coach cool on Leigh Halfpenny return speculation

Leigh Halfpenny
Leigh Halfpenny played for Cardiff Blues from 2008 to 2014

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson has dismissed rumours linking Leigh Halfpenny with a move back to the Welsh region from Toulon.

The Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back was ruled out the World Cup with a knee injury that is also likely to see him miss the Six Nations.

"It's speculation at the moment," Wilson said.

"But it would be great to see Leigh Halfpenny, [and Clermont Auvergne's] Jonathan Davies... back in Wales."

Halfpenny joined Toulon from Blues after his contract expired at the end of the 2013-2014 season.

The 26-year-old's deal with the French giants was for an initial two years, with the option of a further year.

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Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal cast doubt over Halfpenny's future in France in August 2015, when he said that Halfpenny could jeopardise his club career if he plays for Wales on their tour of New Zealand in 2016.

Wales play their three Tests on tour in New Zealand on 11, 18 and 25 June, which clashes with the French Top 14 season as the play-off final is not until 24 June.

Under World Rugby rules, Wales have first call on Halfpenny as the tour falls inside an official Test window.

However, Wilson says that Blues and perhaps any of the other three Welsh regions would struggle to match the wages on offer elsewhere, even if Halfpenny and Davies should leave their French clubs.

Centre Davies, who has won 48 Wales caps and three for the Lions, joined Clermont at the start of the 2014-15 season from Scarlets on a two-year deal.

"Their market value is huge in European rugby so there's a lot that would need to happen to get those players back in Wales," he added.

"It would be fantastic to one day see them back though."