Cardiff Blues issue warning to Toulon
September 28, 2013
Cardiff Blues' Leigh Halfpenny slots a kick during his side's PRO12 defeat to Leinster on Friday night © PA Photos
Cardiff Blues have dismissed reports that fullback Leigh Halfpenny will travel to Toulon this weekend to begin contract talks.
The British & Irish Lions star, who is out of contract with the Welsh region at the end of the season, was reportedly set to travel to the French club this weekend following the Blues RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Leinster on Friday night. But Blues chief executive Richard Holland insists any such move would require the approval of the region and permission has not been sought or granted.
"Leigh or his representatives would have to seek written permission from Cardiff Blues if they want to go and have a contractual discussion with another party regarding his employment," Holland told the Western Mail.
"I haven't had any such request and I am not aware of him going out to France. Leigh hasn't sought permission from us to have discussions with any other club. So, as far as we are concerned, he is not permitted to enter into negotiations or even discussions with any other party."
Holland is also hopeful the region can put together a package that will convince the 24-year-old to stay and prevent yet another leading Welsh player heading overseas with the likes of George North, Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate just the latest to make such a move in recent months. However, if he cannot tempt Halfpenny to put pen to paper on a new deal, Holland insists he will not stand in his way.
"I am confident of securing his services before permitting him to speak to other parties," said Holland. "If I get to a position where I can't secure his services, who am I to stand in his way and he can openly then go and discuss with other clubs.
"If talks break down with him and he asks for permission to go and speak to Toulon I couldn't say no to that request. But, at the moment, I haven't granted permission."
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