REPORTS EMANATING FROM France this morning are suggesting that Leinster No.8 Jamie Heaslip has rejected a move to Heineken Cup champions Toulon.
Midi Olympique, the newspaper that broke the Jonny Sexton to Racing Métro story last year, has claimed the Irishman has ‘said no’ to a move to the south of France. Leinster CEO Michael Dawson confirmed last week that there should be news on Heaslip’s contract at some stage in the coming days.
Heaslip travelled to Toulon over the festive period and met with club officials with a view to a possible move. His form since returning has been typically committed and he was one of Leinster’s stand-out players in their bonus point win over Ospreys on Friday. The win set up a Heineken Cup quarter final with Toulon. The speculation over a Heaslip switch between the clubs is sure to add some spice to the last eight clash.
There has been no official word from the IRFU about a new contract for Heaslip but the union will be hoping to tie up any deal before the start of the Six Nations. It announced, via Twitter, last week that Heaslip’s Leinster teammate Sean O’Brien would be signing a contract extension.
The cover of today’s Midi Olympique, with the Heaslip story featured near the top.
The newspaper believes that Toulon have secured the signature of Cardiff and Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny for next season. It is reported that Halfpenny, who starred for the British & Irish Lions last summer, will be paid €480,000 a year by the club.