Wales Player Exodus
Clermont cool interest in Lions duo
ESPN Staff
December 18, 2013
Both Alun-Wyn Jones and Leigh Halfpenny's contracts are up at the end of the season © PA Photos

Clermont Auvergne have admitted defeat in their bid to lure Leigh Halfpenny to the club while the likelihood of Alun-Wyn Jones moving to the Top 14 side also looks to be decreasing.

Both Halfpenny and Jones' contracts are up at the end of the season and the duo have long been linked with a move to the Top 14. But a source close to Clermont has told Wales Online that Halfpenny's wage demands have proved to be a stumbling block.

"They viewed the wage demands put forward by his management for Halfpenny's services to be excessive," the source said. "Interest in him has waned. There is a strict budget for players at Clermont and, as it stands, he doesn't fit into the plans which have been drawn up for the next campaign.

"The club was happy to sign the centre Jonathan Davies from the Scarlets. His primary reason for joining Clermont wasn't the money but for the quality of the rugby we can provide."

And Jones' Wales commitments, in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup, may see Clermont delay their approach for the British & Irish Lions lock, according to the same publication. Clermont have extended Jamie Cudmore's contract by a further year and have signed French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina ahead of next season.

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