The future of Welsh international Leigh Halfpenny has been thrown into further chaos as he looks for a new club.
The fullback, recently home from New Zealand where he featured as a late replacement in the first of the three tests against the All Blacks, left Toulon at the end of last season after failing to agree terms on a new contract, with a return to Cardiff Blues also falling through in the negotiation stage.
While, in theory, it should not be hard for Halfpenny to find a new club, WalesOnline have reported on a new development that could have massive implications for both his club and international future. They allege that, for various reasons, none of the four Welsh regions are particularly minded to offer him a deal right now.
The size of the wage packet that he would command, coupled with the fact that he is unlikely to available even for pre-season training until the autumn, have left them cold on the idea as they begin preparation with their squads for the coming season.
Should the 28-year-old end up in the Premiership (or, indeed, another club in France) then it presents the WRU’s overseas selection policy, dubbed Gatland’s Law, with a few problems.
Under the ruling, no more than three overseas players can be selected into the Welsh international squad – but the likes of Liam Williams, George North, Taulupe Faletau, Jamie Roberts and Rhys Priestland all plying their trade outside of Wales, adding Halfpenny to the mix (which would have been the case anyway if he had stayed in Toulon) only serves to give Gatland even more of a selection headache going forward.
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