Becoming a Scarlet: Leigh Halfpenny to return to Wales

Leigh Halfpenny looks set to join Scarlets on a two-year contract as the Welsh full-back will return to Wales from his three years in France with Toulon.

Initial reports suggested that the Welshman was poised to return to former club Cardiff Blues, but now looks to have swung allegiance to the Guinness Pro12 champions, Scarlets, with the Welsh Rugby Union reportedly paying 60% of the full-back’s salary.

Halfpenny spent three years with Top 14 side, Toulon - Image Source: Twitter
Halfpenny spent three years with Top 14 side, Toulon – Image Source: Twitter

Halfpenny’s ongoing injury problems have seen the full-back miss crucial periods of his career such as the Six Nations and the 2015 World Cup. The 28-year-old then experienced an indifferent summer after losing the No.15 jersey to Welsh teammate Liam Williams on the British and Irish Lions tour.

The new proposed deal with Scarlets is reported to take the 28-year-old through to the 2019 World Cup, with the region only paying 40% of his salary after being unable to afford the whole contract. Halfpenny will replace Williams with the fellow Welshman heading to English side, Saracens.

Although Scarlets have not confirmed the reports made by the Times, the deal looks likely to go ahead after Toulon released Halfpenny from his contract in June.

The problem for Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal, was Halfpenny’s regular appearances in the treatment room, and his commitment to Wales on international duty.

Such commitment to international duty were evident with Halfpenny missing Toulon’s Top 14 final defeat because of his selection on the Lions tour.

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