Halfpenny homecoming talks 'ongoing'

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Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies has confirmed that negotiations to bring Leigh Halfpenny back to his homeland are ongoing amid reports that Scarlets are set to sign the full-back.

The Wales international's future has been up in the air since Toulon decided against offering the 28-year-old a new contract.

Scarlets have emerged as the front-runners to land the British and Irish Lion on a National Dual Contract, but Davies said a deal has not yet been struck.

"Talks are ongoing," Davies told BBC Wales News' Newyddion 9 show.

"I think the Union and the regions are eager to ensure that the best Welsh players play in Wales. Those discussions are ongoing but there is no development that can be announced as yet."

He added: "The regions are always looking to retain, first of all, and then repatriate our leading players to play rugby in Wales.

"It's important for the young generation to see their star players being readily available for them to watch most weekends."

Scarlets general manager Jon Daniels said the champions are taking nothing for granted in their pursuit of Halfpenny as they prepare to compete in a newly-expanded Pro14 tournament.

He said: "We are preparing for next season with the squad that we have got.

"If there is anything on Leigh Halfpenny in the near future, I am sure the Welsh Rugby Union will be making that statement when they are ready to do so. Until then we are getting on with our preparations.

"We have a squad here who has been working hard for a good couple of weeks and we are looking forward to the challenge."