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Bath The Latest Club To Distance Themselves From Leigh Halfpenny Signing

CORRECTION - British and Irish Lions player Leigh Halfpenny takes part in a kickers training session in Auckland on July 7, 2017. The British and Irish Lions will play the New Zealand All Blacks in the third and final Test in Auckland on July 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by PETER PARKS has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Removing Captains Run. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Bath have become the latest club to say they won’t be signing Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

Fresh on the heels of Wasps director of rugby Dai Young telling Wales Online that they had given up trying to acquire the former Blues star after finding ‘it very hard to get a decision out of him’, the West Country club have said that they are not interested in signing the three-time Lions tourist.

Speaking to the Bath Chronicle, Bath’s director of rugby, Todd Blackadder, poured cold water on rumours that the Welshman would be moving to the Rec.

“We haven’t spoken to him at all.

“We’re not in that space. There’s no truth to those links at all.”

With Tom Homer at 15 as well as England winger Anthony Watson being an accomplished full-back, Blackadder obviously feels that the club are well-covered in this area.

The cost of bringing in the 71-times capped back would have also undoubtedly put off him off, with Halfpenny on a reputed €600,000-a-year at Toulon.

With the Blues and Scarlets having already said that they won’t be signing him, time is running out for the 2013 Lions Man of the Series to find a new club before the start of the new season.

After Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal decided not to offer him a new contract at the end of May, citing his lack of availability due to international commitments as a big factor in the decision, Halfpenny has been in limbo.

Boudjellal’s decision brought down the curtain on a three-year spell at the French club, which saw the Gorseinon-product pick up the European Champions Cup in 2015 and earn a Top 14 runners-up medal in 2016, and score over 500 points.

With the doors having definitively closed on a move back to his homeland and a move to England apparently unlikely as well, the world’s premier goal-kicker may well end up staying in France.

The issue of ‘Gatland’s law’ further complicates the picture as staying in France – likewise if he were to end up in England – would mean that he would be captured by the law and would thus have to depend on being one of Gatland’s four ‘wildcard’ picks for the upcoming autumn internationals.

Although as one of Gatland’s mainstays, it would be a major surprise if he wasn’t one of his wildcard picks this November.

It will be interesting to see what happens next in this ongoing saga.

Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.