Sam Warburton: Toulon rule out signing Wales captain

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton will not be joining European champions Toulon, according to the French club's president Mourad Boudjellal.

The Cardiff Blues flanker's deal expires in the summer as a stalemate persists between the regions and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) over the professional game's finances.

"Sam Warburton won't end up at Toulon," said Boudjellal.

"I have met the player but we couldn't reach agreement on the salary plans."

In a live video webchat with,external-link, he added: "It's an issue which has been closed for some time, even if he is a very good player."

Warburton had set a deadline of Wednesday for his future to be sorted out, but no announcement has been made on where he will play his rugby next season.

But Boudjellal, who has assembled a multi-national team of star names, said the amount of time Warburton spends on Wales duty was a problem.

He said: "Sam Warburton is the captain of Wales and that means we wouldn't have him during the international matches, and we're not used to that.

"There's also all the training with Wales and we're not used to that either.

"One year from the World Cup, wouldn't Sam Warburton's priority be the World Cup and not the Top 14, especially as captain?"

Boudjellal has already signed one Wales international, with Ospreys lock Ian Evans having already agreed a three-year deal to join in the summer.

Toulon have also been linked with Cardiff Blues and Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny to replace retiring World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson as the French club's frontline goal-kicker.

But Boudjellal may look to Wilkinson's fly-half replacement to take on the kicking duties.

"We need a [number] 10 who's not in his national team, and we're also looking for a 90% [success rate] kicker," he said.

Wales internationals Gavin Henson, Gethin Jenkins and Jamie Robinson have all spent brief spells at Toulon, and England's Steffon and Delon Armitage and Andrew Sheridan, as well as Wilkinson, are there at the moment.

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