Wales and British and Irish Lions star Leigh Halfpenny is expecting “a huge battle” when he faces his former club Toulon in the European Champions Cup this Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
The full-back had an injury-hit spell in Southern France and was not offered a new contract by Toulon, with club president Mourad Boudjellal blaming his international commitments ruling him out of too many games.
But the Welshman is feeling upbeat ahead of a return to the Stade Felix Mayol and is anticipating a physical battle against his former team-mates in France.
“I’m looking forward to going back out to Toulon with the Scarlets and after the game catching up with some of the guys that I played with during my time there,” he told Sky Sports News.
“But during the game it’ll be a huge battle, that’s the exciting part.”
Halfpenny admitted it wasn’t easy to leave his home country in 2014 after seven years with Cardiff Blues, but the chance to lift trophies proved too much to turn down.
He said: “When I made the decision to go it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Wales but I felt at the stage of my career and how things were that was the right time and to go and win silverware.”
The reigning PRO14 champions take on Toulon, three-times winners of the tournament, for the second season in succession after meeting at the same stage last season.
Toulon were victorious in France over the Scarlets on December 11, 2016 with Halfpenny converting all four tries and kicking a penalty against his future employers.
However, the Wales fullback had a far less enjoyable time at the return leg in Llanelli the following week as despite scoring all the visitors’ points in a 22-21 loss, his last-minute penalty miss would have won it for the French side.
(c) Sky News 2017: Scarlets’ Leigh Halfpenny expects ‘huge battle’ when he returns to Toulon