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Halfpenny bound for France

By Robert Jones

Cardiff Blues have confirmed that Wales star Leigh Halfpenny will leave them at the end of the season.

The Blues have not revealed 25-year-old Halfpenny's destination, but it is expected to be reigning European champions Toulon.

Full-back Halfpenny has won 48 caps and scored almost 350 points for his country. He made his Blues debut in 2008.

Halfpenny's existing Blues contract expires at the end of this season and he is now poised to link up with the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau and Bryan Habana at Stade Felix Mayol. Halfpenny was last season's Six Nations player of the tournament and the British and Irish Lions man of the series in Australia.

Halfpenny looks set to join the likes of his Wales colleagues Jamie Roberts, Dan Lydiate, Mike Phillips and James Hook in the French Top 14, while centre Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne) and lock Ian Evans (Toulon) will also head to France later this year.

Blues chief executive Richard Holland said: "Retaining Leigh has been one of our highest priorities, and we have done all we can in our power as a region and business to try and facilitate that.

"We put our very best offer on the table, but he has been the target of a major European club with significant resources that we simply cannot compete with at this current time.

"He has been presented with a tremendous opportunity to play overseas and feels this is the right move at this stage in his career. He will go with our very best wishes for success with his new club."

Belfast Telegraph


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