Rugby Union

Sam Warbuton expects Leigh Halfpenny to stay at Toulon

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Leigh Halfpenny will stay at Toulon. That is the opinion of Wales captain Sam Warbuton.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Warbuton revealed he spoke to Halfpenny about his injury problems and expects the goal-kicker to make a full recovery. He said: “I think it’s a bit early be writing off his career at Toulon yet. I know Leigh’s been nursing a slight groin tweak.”

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"I don’t think it’s too significant but I know groins are extremely complicated injuries to have. Being a goal-kicker he has to be extra cautious but Leigh is the best professional there is so I’m sure he’ll come through it fine.”

Halfpenny joined the Heineken Cup winning side and signed on a two-year deal during the summer, after failing to agree a new contract at the Cardiff Blues.

In an interview with French newspaper Varmartin, club president Mourad Boudjellal admitted they had not rule out terminating the contract of the Welsh international.

Injury troubles

The 25-year-old has not played Rugby since he dislocated his shoulder in Wales’ Six Nations defeat to England in March.

The versatile fullback, who can also play on the wing, required surgery on his shoulder and is now struggling with a groin injury.

Boudjellal is under the impression that the British and Irish Lions player arrived at the French club with the injury, saying: ““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.

“We are conducting an investigation.”

Will he recover for the World Cup?

Halfpenny, who has scored 395 points for Wales in 52 appearances is vital to the Wales squad and played a crucial role in Wales’ 2012 Grand Slam winning side. The Welshman’s kicking ability is one of the best in world, arguably second behind New Zealand international Dan Carter.

He has also drawn comparisons to Jonny Wilkinson, who he would have replaced as the kicker for Toulon, since the England legend’s retirement earlier in the year.

With the 2015 World Cup fast approaching, Wales coach Warren Gatlan will be sweating over the fitness of Halfpenny will would play a vital role in his side’s challenge for glory.

What next?

Whether or not his contract will be terminated with Toulon it remains to be seen, but there will be no shortage of clubs interested in gaining the signature of such a fine player.

Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland has already said the club would be interested in resigning him, with the possibility of a dual contract, having signed a central contract with Wales in January.

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Wales Rugby
Leigh Halfpenny
Rugby Union
Sam Warburton

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