Planet Rugby

Wilkinson ready to welcome Halfpenny

13th January 2014 12:21


leigh halfpenny wales

Linked: Leigh Halfpenny

Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson says the European champions would welcome Wales star Leigh Halfpenny with open arms should he join.

Halfpenny's future beyond this season remains uncertain with his contract set to expire with Cardiff Blues in June.

The British and Irish Lions' Man of the Series has maintained his good form this season, showing Toulon what he had to offer in the Blues' 20-43 defeat in Nice last Saturday.

"We would welcome Leigh here and any club would," Wilkinson told WalesOnline.

"It's about welcoming someone who could add to the team, inspire others and leave a mark.

"That is what the guy has done with other teams and that is the best thing I can say about anyone.

"Leigh is a fabulous player and is a true professional. I saw him before the Cardiff Blues game when I got to the ground and he was already there practising. I love to see that and it shows how precise he is and his attention to detail.

"A world-class player is someone who has the consistency to produce the goods over and over again.

"If you can deliver every time, then you know you are in the world-class bracket. Leigh is one of those players. He also has the ability to read the game and react to what he sees."

Wilkinson's own future is undecided beyond this season, with the 34-year-old World Cup winner admitting time was against him.

"I am still enjoying it even if my fingertips are getting a bit sore as I hang in there," added Wilkinson.

"I am getting older and competing against the young guys coming through and that's where the enjoyment still is.

"When I get the feeling that path will stop, that will be the time to say no more. Alternatively the club could say no more and that's fine as well.

"The job is a daily one. I am still going to the end of the season and we will see what happens then.

"I want to be in control of that decision as best as I can, knowing how much each game takes out of you. I want to make the right decision for the team and myself."

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