Cardiff Blues braced for battle to keep hold of Leigh Halfpenny
Last Updated: July 12, 2013 8:16am
Leigh Halfpenny: Blues face battle to keep him
Cardiff Blues will do all they can to keep British & Irish Lions superstar Leigh Halfpenny at the club, says chief executive Richard Holland.
Halfpenny's heroics for Wales and the Lions in the past 12 months are likely to be attracting serious interest from the big-spending clubs in France.
The Wales full-back was named player of the series as the Lions beat Australia 2-1, and Blues chief Holland insists Halfpenny "must be the only candidate for the IRB's World Player of the Year."
Halfpenny's Wales and Lions team-mates Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate are joining French clubs this summer, with the Welsh franchises unable to compete financially with their Top 14 counterparts who can afford to pay three times more in wages.
George North is on his way to Northampton too, and Holland admits the Blues are expecting a battle to keep hold of Halfpenny.
Holland told the Independent: "Whether or not Leigh will stay I don't know but he's a Welsh lad and we're hoping he will commit to the Blues.
"We have already had discussions and we will be working hard with Leigh to lock him into the Blues for the foreseeable future.
"We are extremely proud of the achievements of all our Lions. Leigh must be the only candidate for the IRB's World Player of the Year after destroying Australia.
"Now we are going to do everything in our power to secure his services. We're trying to put together, within our means, a package which will enable Leigh to stay at the Arms Park and in Welsh rugby."