RaboDirect PRO 12: Cardiff Blues owner Peter Thomas warns Leigh Halfpenny against France switch
Last Updated: 11/09/13 1:09pm
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Cardiff Blues owner Peter Thomas has warned Leigh Halfpenny against a move to the French Top 14.
Thomas believes that a switch could come at 'a massive price' for the Wales and Lions full-back, despite the financial benefits.
He believes that Halfpenny, whose contract expires at the end of the season, would be better served staying at the Welsh outfit where he will be given all he requires to continue to perform for the Welsh national team.
"Look at Dan Lydiate. He will have played six matches for Racing before Leigh or Sam (Warburton, Wales captain) play one. Come the autumn internationals, the Welsh-based players will be in a far better physical condition"
"The business model in Wales cannot afford the sort of figures being bandied about by some French clubs," Thomas told The Rugby Paper. "But they realise that if they do go, there will be a massive price to pay.
"Look at Dan Lydiate. He will have played six matches for Racing before Leigh or Sam (Warburton, Wales captain) play one. Come the autumn internationals, the Welsh-based players will be in a far better physical condition.
"Their careers will be longer by staying in Wales. There will also be lots of commercial opportunities because they are recognised wherever they go, unlike the centre of Paris where you could be any Tom, Dick or Harry.
"Leigh and Sam are as iconic in Wales as Richie McCaw and Dan Carter are in New Zealand. They will be playing in the next World Cup because they've been looked after.
"We've got to do the same with our very best players and they know what's at stake at the World Cup in two years' time."
The talk of Halfpenny earning a seven-figure sum in France is not something that concerns the Blues boss.
"If that's what Leigh's worth, well done to him," Thomas said. "But I am optimistic that between us, the player, the Blues and the Welsh Rugby Union, we will find a solution."