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Toulon back Halfpenny’s Lions 2017 ambitions

Toulon back Halfpenny’s Lions 2017 ambitions

Leigh Halfpenny has revealed that he will be in a position to take part in the full Tour of New Zealand with The British & Irish Lions if selected after securing a special agreement from his club Toulon.

"They told me if I was taken by the Lions they would be proud and honoured to have a player in the selection."

Leigh Halfpenny has revealed that he will be in a position to take part in the full Tour of New Zealand with The British & Irish Lions if selected after securing a special agreement from his club Toulon.

The Welsh full-back, who joined the French side in 2014 and is now beginning his third season at the Stade Félix Mayol, has been given special permission to tour by owner Mourad Boudjellal even in the event of Toulon reaching the final of the Top 14.

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Speaking at a press conference in France, Halfpenny said: "When we negotiated this year with Mourad Boudjellal, in my contract it says that I will be released if selected for Wales and the Lions. If the Lions and the finals of the Top 14 are simultaneous then I'll miss the end of the season.”

The 27-year-old, a three-time Test Lion and the record points scorer and player of the Tour in 2013, added that from the Toulon perspective, the club would be ‘proud and honoured’ to have a player in the 2017 Lions squad.

"I spoke at length with Mourad Boudjellal and Diego Dominguez (Toulon coach). They told me if I was taken by the Lions they would be proud and honoured to have a player in the selection.

"Personally, I really appreciate that they accepted such a clause in my contract."

The Lions squad will be named in April 2017 with the first match scheduled to take place on June 3 but for now, Halfpenny’s focus is on impressing in his club colours.

“To be there, you have to play well for your club and your country.
 
“I’m just coming back from a major injury. I’m focused on playing well for Toulon and being as good as I can be. I want to be mentally and physically ready for improve my performances with Toulon.”

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