Planet Rugby

Halfpenny too expensive for Clermont

18th December 2013 13:40

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High price: Leigh Halfpenny

Wales star Leigh Halfpenny is rated as one of the world's premier full-backs, but that means he comes at a high price.

A price it seems that is too steep for Top 14 giants Clermont Auvergne.

Reports have indicated that Halfpenny, who has also been linked with Toulon, was in negotiations with last season's Heineken Cup finalists before a deal fell through due to "excessive" wage demands on the behalf of the management of the British and Irish Lions' Man of the Series.

The 24-year-old, who has 51 caps for Wales and the Lions, is out of contract at the end of this season.

"[Clermont] viewed the wage demands put forward by his management for Halfpenny's services to be excessive," a source told WalesOnline.

"Interest in him has waned. There is a strict budget for players at Clermont and, as it stands, he doesn't fit into the plans which have been drawn up for the next campaign.

"The club was happy to sign the centre Jonathan Davies from the Scarlets. His primary reason for joining Clermont wasn't the money but for the quality of the rugby we can provide."

Toulon's interest in the star also appears to have waned following their announcement on Tuesday that former England full-back Delon Armitage had signed a new two-year contract with the European champions.

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