Top 14

Toulon coach expects Halfpenny to stay

Head coach Diego Dominguez hopes Leigh Halfpenny will remain at Toulon despite pressure to return to Wales.

Halfpenny, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season and, should he remain in the Top 14, must rely on a wildcard pick from Wales boss Rob Howley if he is to feature for the national team.

Dominguez, though, believes the star full-back is likely to stay at Stade Mayol.

"We speak very often with him about [his future], and I am confident he will stay," Dominguez was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"I think for him it will be the best decision to be outside [Wales], to challenge the best every week.

"I respect him as a person so I have told him this, not as a coach, but as personal advice."

Dominguez claimed Halfpenny is settled in the south of France and nearing his best form after suffering a knee injury last year.

"It is never simple to come back but Leigh is coming back very well. He is very professional. I have no doubt he will come back 100 per cent as he was before the injury," he said.

"He is happy at the club, he is having a good time. This year he is much more open, he is making new friends in France, speaking French.

"He hasn't made the decision yet, but I will be very happy if he stays and the club will be very happy if he stays."