By Alan Dymock
THE CARDIFF Blues are not exactly falling to pieces, but they are hardly enjoying bright skies and calm seas at the moment either.
So when news comes in that Leigh Halfpenny may be set to have talks with Toulon this weekend about a possible move to the Top 14 outfit once his contract runs out at the end of the season, after the Blues face Leinster, it is hardly a soothing tonic.
According to Midi Olympique, the respected French sports ‘paper: “He [Halfpenny] will visit the club’s facilities and discuss a potential contract for next season.
“It is believed that several clubs in England and France were interested, but Toulon is the only one to have opened talks. Toulon wanted to meet the player to make sure he was not trying to use them as a lever to negotiate a bigger contract at home.
According to the report, Bernard Laporte is enough of a fan to try and tie Halfpenny down to a deal before October 19 when the two sides meet in the Heineken Cup and he is also alleged to covet Halfpenny’s Blues, Wales and Lions colleague Sam Warburton, whose contract is also up at the end of the year.
Particulalrly after facing Leinster in Dublin – providing the report is accurate – he may not have the most positive mindset about staying in Cardiff. Lose and it will be three losses from four games, one of which was against Zebre.
Other Welsh Lions Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Jones and Ian Evans will also be out of contract at the end of the season.
This news comes hot on the tail of confirmation that attack coach at the Blues, Gareth Baber is to leave for a “head coach role” outside of Wales, and reports have also suggested that Shaun Edwards may soon join up with the Blues coaching team to help out part-time.
The Blues could look very, very different in the near future and beyond.