Halfpenny to join French exodus?

Tue, 31 Dec 2013 08:17
Leigh-halfpenny-b_i-lions Leighhalfpennywales Leigh-halfpenny-b_i-lions2-
Major transfer coup for Toulon

British and Irish Lions fullback Leigh Halfpenny has become the latest high-profile Welsh player to be linked to the growing exodus to France.

According to reports in the French media Halfpenny has already agreed to join the cash-flush club and European champions Toulon.

La Provence have reported that Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal and Halfpenny met in London and the Lions fullback has agreed to leave Cardiff Blues at the end of the season.

Halfpenny's reported departure from Wales comes in the wake of several of his international teammates, who moved across the channel.

Mike Phillips, Jamie Roberts, Dan Lydiate and James Hook are already playing in the French Top 14.

The 25-year-old Halfpenny  is one of a number of leading Welsh players who, with contracts due to expire in the summer, have been considering their futures and have wealthy suitors lurking.

Adam Jones, Alun-Wyn Jones, Rhys Priestland and Sam Warburton are all coming off contract and are expected to leave.

Cardiff Blues have repeatedly stated their desire to persuade Halfpenny to sign a new deal, but he has been weighing up offers for some time.

If the deal is confirmed, it would represent another major transfer coup for Toulon, who would be adding the 2013 Six Nations player of the tournament to their glittering squad.

Toulon were thought to have signed James O'Connor, but now he has indicated that he in interested in returning to Australia opening the door for Halfpenny.

The Wales goal kicker would share the kicking duties with Jonny Wilkinson and Matt Giteau as well as Rory Kockott who has also been linked to Toulon.