Halfpenny to remain in France with Toulon

Leigh Halfpenny is staying in Toulon

Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny has ended speculation that he could leave French Top 14 Club Toulon by confirming through his manager that he is staying in France.

Halfpenny has been linked with a move from Toulon to English club Wasps on a transfer but Toulon manager Bernard Laporte says that the fullback will see out the final year of his contract.

Wasps is just one of the clubs that Halfpenny has been linked to but Laporte says that British and Irish Lion has decided to take up the option on a third season with the European champions.

Halfpenny made the move to France from Cardiff Blues and there had been speculation that he could return to the Blues next season.

“He’s staying at Toulon. I don’t know when he will sign but it should happen,” said Laporte after Toulon’s last gasp European Champions Cup 15-11 defeat of Wasps.

Laporte said Halfpenny “was under pressure from his national team coach, Warren Gatland, who would like to get everyone (all Welsh internationals) back” playing in Wales.

But Halfpenny has “the club’s respect” despite a season wrecked by injury, added Laporte.

“He’s a good lad, you need some like him in a club: he trains five hours a day,” added the former France coach.

Halfpenny joined Toulon in 2014, a year after earning player of the series honours during the British and Irish Lions’ successful tour of Australia.

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