Dominguez urges Halfpenny to stay

Date published: October 4 2016

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2016/2017 EPCR European Rugby Champions Cup & European Rugby Challenge Cup Launch, Pavilion Wagram, Paris, France 3/10/2016
Toulon Head Coach Diego Dominguez 
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Toulon coach Diego Dominguez wants Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny to stay at the club beyond the current season.

Halfpenny’s current deal expires at the end of the season after he joined the club in 2014 from Cardiff Blues.

While Halfpenny might decide to return to Wales next year Dominguez believes he should stay at Toulon if he wants to keep on improving.

“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.”

Under the terms of the Welsh Rugby Union’s senior player selection policy, Halfpenny will have to rely on a wildcard pick if he is to play for the national side. Interim head coach Rob Howley hopes the ruling will encourage those based overseas to return to a region.

Halfpenny is reportedly open-minded about his future, and is concentrating on reaching peak form and fitness after missing the bulk of last season with a serious knee injury.

Dominguez believes the player will soon be back to his best.

“It is never simple to come back but Leigh is coming back very well. He is very professional. I have no doubt he will come back 100% as he was before the injury,” Dominguez said.

“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. 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.”

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