Toulon chief spells out warning to Lions goal-kicking star as French Top 14 title play-offs clash with Wales’ June Tests against Steve Hansen’s world champions.
Leigh Halfpenny finds himself embroiled in another club versus country row after controversial Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal claimed he wouldn’t pay the Lions Test star’s June wages if he goes on Wales’ tour of New Zealand.
Wales face Steve Hansen’s world champions in three Tests on June 11, 18 and 25, at the same time as Toulon will be aiming for French Top 14 title success.
Gatland’s first-choice full-back has been out of action since last September, but is expected to return at the end of this month… just in time for the French Top 14 play-offs, or Wales’ summer tour.
World Rugby’s regulation 9 hands national teams autonomy over the clubs and enables them to select their top stars for the international window.
This particular June window would cover Wales’ three Tests against New Zealand, which should mean Halfpenny will be down with Gatland’s men rather than helping Toulon trying to regain the French Championship.
But Boudjellal issued a stark warning to Halfpenny if he links up with Wales and invited the Welsh Rugby Union to pay his salary for next month.
“The players who will go on tour won’t be paid by Toulon,” insisted Toulon President Boudjellal.
“And I am ready to go to court if necessary.
“I’m not here to pay players while they are away earning money for their respective unions or federations,
“They can pay their salary.”
Boudjellal’s frustration is linked with the fact he has not seen Halfpenny play for Toulon this season after paying the former Cardiff Blues full-back a reputed wage of up to £600,000.
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