Sport Ulster Rugby

Friday 9 December 2016

Ulster Piutau fears recede as Wasps target halfpenny

Published 23/12/2015 | 02:30

Piutau has been one of the form players across Europe so far this season but the former All
Black only signed a short-term loan deal with Wasps as Ulster’s overseas roster was already full for this campaign. SPORTSFILE
Piutau has been one of the form players across Europe so far this season but the former All Black only signed a short-term loan deal with Wasps as Ulster’s overseas roster was already full for this campaign. SPORTSFILE

Ulster's fears of the prospect that Wasps may be planning a last-minute hijacking of the return of loan signing Charles Piutau may have eased as the newly flush English club switch their focus towards the capture of Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

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Piutau has been one of the form players across Europe so far this season but the former All Black only signed a short-term loan deal with Wasps as Ulster's overseas roster was already full for this campaign.

There had been fears that the new financial heavyweights of the Premiership might persuade the 23-year-old to re-think but, after Toulon handed Halfpenny a contract ultimatum yesterday, Dai Young has switched his attention towards the Cardiff man.

"We would obviously love to have (him) as a part of the Wasps set-up," said Young, who coached the 27-year-old Welsh international at Cardiff Blues.

"We're probably one of six or seven options Leigh's got - we're one who'd really like his services.

"We've already got a very good full-back in Rob Miller, but Charles Piutau is only with us for a season so we would be looking for another full-back to come in.

"I couldn't say what Leigh's going to do, but I know he's looking to make a decision over the next two weeks and we're one of the clubs that's an option to him."

Cardiff and Scarlets remain outside options.

Irish Independent

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