Leigh Halfpenny has been made the best possible offer by the Welsh Rugby Union to return to home soil, according to WRU boss Martyn Phillips.
The 28-year-old Wales superstar is out of contract with French giants Toulon at the end of this season and has been linked with a return to his former team Cardiff Blues.
Three-time European champions Toulon are desperate to keep Halfpenny in France, and are understood to have lined up a bumper six-figure deal aimed at keeping him on the Cote d’Azur.
Prolific points-scorer Halfpenny has won 66 caps and was a star performer when the British and Irish Lions claimed a 2-1 Test series victory over Australia in 2013.
If he does head to Wales, it would be on a national dual contract, 60 per cent funded by the WRU and the rest by whichever Welsh region he ends up at.
“Any way you want to look at it, on the pitch he’s a match-winner and he is an ambassador for Welsh rugby. He is a hell of a nice guy,” WRU group chief executive Phillips said, during a wide-ranging media briefing in Cardiff on Thursday.
“You would want him in your mix, not at a distance. He is somebody we think a lot of.
“We have made him the best offer we possibly can.
“Obviously, we all hope he comes back [to Wales], but he is his own man, and I respect his decision. I am sure there is a bit of head and heart for him to go through. It’s difficult. We have all been in those positions.
“Clearly, I hope he does come back, but if he doesn’t, I understand that.
“Obviously, the clock is now ticking, and there is a point at which certainly Toulon would need some certainty.
“The reality is we can pick him [for Wales] anyway, but I am sure Leigh knows that some time in the next couple of weeks he has got to make a call on it.”
Halfpenny is currently in his third season with Toulon, but much of his time at the Stade Felix-Mayol has been hampered by injuries.
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Halfpenny made best possible offer by Welsh Rugby Union
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