Toulon confident of keeping Halfpenny

Toulon confident of keeping Halfpenny

Toulon head coach Diego Dominguez believes Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny will opt to remain in France beyond his current contract.

The 27-year-old has been with Toulon since leaving Cardiff Blues in 2014 but has been heavily linked with a return to Wales once his current deal expires at the end of this season.

The British & Irish Lions back currently needs a wildcard pick if he wants to play for Wales under the terms of the Welsh Rugby Union's senior player selection policy, a scheme implemented in the hope of keeping the nation's top talent in the country.

Halfpenny is reportedly keeping an open mind to his future, with his priority being a return to full fitness having missed most of last season with a serious knee injury.

Former Italy fly-half Dominguez says Halfpenny is close to rediscovering his best form and feels that once he has got matters on the pitch right then he will sign a new deal with Toulon.

"We speak very often with him about [his future], and I am confident he will stay," Dominguez told BBC Radio 5 live. "I think for him it will be the best decision to be outside [Wales], to challenge the best every week.

"I respect him as a person so I have told him this, not as a coach, but as personal advice.

"He is happy at the club, he is having a good time. This year he is much more open, he is making new friends in France, speaking French.

"He hasn't made the decision yet, but I will be very happy if he stays and the club will be very happy if he stays."