Toulon hunting Halfpenny

Sat, 14 Dec 2013 08:20
Large leighhalfpennywales

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal says he is trying to sign Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny but has ruled out a move for Sam Warburton.

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal says he is trying to sign Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny but has ruled out a move for Sam Warburton.

Speaking to the La Provence newspaper, which covers the south of France, in an interview published on Friday, Boudjellal said British and Irish Lions and Wales captain Warburton had priced himself out of a potential move.

But the star of the Lions June tour to Australia may yet be recruited.

"We couldn't find an agreement on the salary expectations. The subject is closed," said Boudjellal about Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton, 25.

"On the other hand, on Leigh Halfpenny, I don't have the same answer. He's a player we're looking at."

Halfpenny, 24, who also plays for the Blues, was voted player of the series in the Lions successful tour to Australia, breaking the Lions test points record and the record for points in a single test.

He was also voted player of the tournament in the 2013 Six Nations and was shortlisted for the International Rugby Board's player of the year award.

Should he join Toulon - fellow French Top 14 giants Clermont are also interested in recruiting him - he would join a growing exodus of Welsh players in France.

Mike Phillips, Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate all play at Racing-Metro while James Hook and Luke Charteris are at Perpignan.

Lee Byrne is at Clermont, who have signed Jonathan Davies for next season, while Toulon will have Ian Evans on their books in the next campaign.

France is not the only destination attracting Welsh players with George North at Northampton, Paul James at Bath and Craig Mitchell at Exeter.

Ospreys and Wales hooker Richard Hibbard looks set to move to Gloucester next season while Scarlets flyhalf Rhys Priestland and Blues lock Bradley Davies have reportedly agreed to join Wasps.

Other players not currently in favour with Wales but who previously represented their country such as Travis Knoyle (Gloucester), Martin Roberts and Gavin Henson (both Bath) also play in England.

Meanwhile, All Black  lock Ali Williams has signed a one-year contract extension with the European champions.

The 32-year-old, who has been capped 77 times by his country and won the World Cup with the All Blacks in 2011, has formed a formidable second row partnership on the south coast with South Africa's Bakkies Botha.

Interviewed on Thursday about his intentions, Williams had claimed he was loving life in France and was close to signing a new deal.

"It's almost done. I love it here," he said Thursday.

"It's totally different to what I knew in New Zealand. I'd never left my country. The people here are magical, I can feel there's a real connection and I want to stay."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4